KNOXVILLE – Knoxville Hospital & Clinics is announcing that it is the first and only medical facility in central and southcentral Iowa performing NAVIO® robotics-assisted partial knee replacement surgeries.

The robotic assistant (recently named KNEEMO) consists of four main parts: a camera, a computer, a handheld stylus-like probe that creates a 3-D model of the knee, and handheld robotic cutting tool. There are other kinds of robotic assistants, but none like the NAVIO.

The minimally invasive partial knee replacement procedure is performed by:

  1. Making an incision over the knee (a smaller incision with less scarring than with a full-knee replacement).
  2. The surgeon “paints” the exposed knee with the stylus creating a 3-D anatomical model of the knee that is displayed on the computer monitor.
  3. The surgeon holds the robotic cutting tool as it automatically cuts the bone. The camera can sense where the tool is positioned and allows the device to only cut the designated (diseased) portion of the knee. If the surgeon’s hand drifts off course, the tool stops cutting; resulting in a precision cut, removing only the bone required to place the implant.
  4. The metal and plastic implant is then cemented in place.
  5. The incision is closed, with the entire surgery lasting about an hour.

Partial knee replacement is considered an excellent option for those suffering from knee pain, and for some, an alternative to full knee replacement. There is typically a more rapid recovery and less down time from work and recreational activities; as well as less post-operative swelling and pain. Patients are up and walking following surgery, and generally stay no longer than a day in the hospital.

The NAVIO robotics system is the latest addition to Knoxville Hospital & Clinic’s premier orthopedic program and newly renovated surgical center. The robotics surgery program is led by Dr. Todd Peterson, the only surgeon in central Iowa certified to perform the advanced procedure.

On Wednesday, January 11 from 7 – 8 p.m., Knoxville Hospital & Clinics is offering a FREE seminar for anyone interested in learning more about the procedure from Dr. Peterson, and getting a look at the new robot. Refreshments will be served. To register for the seminar or learn more about who may benefit from the NAVIO knee surgical procedure, visit