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A New Bounce in Her Step I would recommend this knee replacement surgery to anyone who experiences the daily pain from arthritis or other causes.


“I now ask myself why I waited so long,” says Vickie Eggleston. “Knee pain had begun to alter my life – the pain was getting so severe and nothing was relieving the pain. I was to the point I was almost wobbling back and forth to get around.”

While the issues with her knee did not impact her ability to perform her job as an accounting specialist, the trek across the large parking lot every day at Domtar in Ashdown, AR, became increasingly challenging. Additionally, the knee pain impaired activities associated with her three children – Mandi, Dymond, and James. For example, climbing the dreaded bleachers at Southern Arkansas University football games to watch Mandi march with the Mulerider band created angst with every step. Now, however, the bleachers are no longer her sworn enemy.

Her solution: Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted total knee replacement, the latest advancement in orthopedics at CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System. Vickie learned about the robotic-arm assisted surgery at a luncheon seminar, where Dr. Greg Smolarz, orthopedic surgeon and Medical Director for the CHRISTUS St. Michael Center for Joint Replacement, was the speaker.

An office visit with Dr. Smolarz determined Vickie was a good candidate for robotic surgery even with her risk factor of diabetes. Vickie underwent surgery on Dec. 20. 2017, participated in the CHRISTUS St. Michael Center for Joint Replacement program, returned to work after 12 weeks, and boasts she is back to her normal activities less the unceasing pain.

“I would recommend this knee replacement surgery to anyone who experiences the daily pain from arthritis or other causes,” Vickie said. “Freedom from the pain has given me a positive outlook, knowing I can do things I couldn’t before. And even better, I no longer have to ‘wobble’ when I walk.”

Robot-Assisted Total Knee Replacement

CHRISTUS St. Michael Health System is the only hospital in the Texarkana area to provide the latest technology for total knee replacement via Stryker’s Mako Robotic Arm-assisted technology.

Stryker’s Mako System is the first and only robotic technology that can be used across the joint replacement service line to perform total knee, total hip and partial knee replacements, according to Joseph Ramos, Director of Physical Medicine and CHRISTUS St. Michael Center for Joint Replacement.

Specially trained surgeons are able to precisely target only the diseased portion of the knee, utilizing the Texarkana region’s only Rio® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System at CHRISTUS St. Michael. The robotic-arm assisted technology allows surgeons to provide each patient with a personalized surgical experience based on his/her specific diagnosis and anatomy.

Treatment Team