Hip & Knee Replacement

When hip pain or knee pain disrupts your daily life, get moving again with expert joint replacement care at Essentia Health. Depend on us to help you choose the best treatment for your needs and goals. We provide support from your initial consultation all the way through your recovery.

Benefit from the specialized skills and knowledge of an experienced joint replacement team. Collectively, our providers care for almost 2,000 people having hip replacement or knee replacement in Minnesota, North Dakota, and Wisconsin each year.

Specialists & Subspecialists

While all orthopedic specialists are trained in hip and knee surgery, subspecialists have extra training in hip and knee joint replacement.

Exceptional Outcomes

Regain independence and return to the activities you enjoy. Choose Essentia for hip or knee replacement that helps you heal faster with less pain.

What to Expect

Whenever possible, your doctor will recommend nonsurgical treatments for joint pain first. If you and your orthopedist decide surgery is your best option, rely on us to help you prepare for joint replacement surgery. We'll help set the stage for a smooth recovery.

After surgery, you may recover in an area of the hospital dedicated to patients like you who have had joint replacement. Your care team will cheer you on as they help you get you back to doing things you haven’t been able to do in a long time. Learn more about recovering from joint replacement surgery.

Advanced, Minimally Invasive Options

Your orthopedic surgeon will tell you if you qualify for a minimally invasive knee or hip replacement procedure. With a minimally invasive joint replacement, your surgeon makes shorter cuts. They also use special surgical instruments to prepare your joint and place your implant.

Surgery will affect less of your tissue. You should also have less pain, smaller scars, and a quicker recovery.

Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery in Duluth-Superior Region

If you need joint replacement surgery, ask if you qualify for Mako TM Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery. The Mako TM System offers advanced surgical care for half knee or total hip or knee replacement. Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center is the first hospital in the region to offer this robotic technology.

How It Works

Using a CT scan-based 3D model of your bones, your surgeon will put together a detailed surgery plan. During surgery, your surgeon will precisely guide the robotic arm according to your plan and make adjustments if needed. This approach often leads to a more predictable surgery and better outcomes.

Medical Insight: Joint Replacement Surgery - Essentia Health Video Transcript

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SPEAKER 1: Welcome Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts at Essentia Health. Here's your host, Maureen Talarico.

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MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on Medical Insight, we talk with Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. Brad Edgerton, about joint replacement surgery.

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DR. BRAD EDGERTON: Patients who require joint replacement are usually suffering from arthritis of various types in the hip or knee. We're dealing with a joint replacement as an operation after all non-operative measures have failed, to replace the surface of the joint with artificial parts-- usually metal and plastic surfaces to replace the diseased joint.

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MAUREEN TALARICO: Thanks to a generous donation from the Essentia Health Foundation, St. Mary's medical center was the first hospital in the area to offer Mako, a robotic arm assisted joint replacement surgery, that is less invasive with a quick recovery time.

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Uses robotics during a procedure

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DR. BRAD EDGERTON: Mako is a robotic arm that is used to assist orthopedic surgeons in doing joint replacement. The concept is to marry the technologies of computer processing with three dimensional x-ray imaging and surgical technique to allow us to put these joints in as accurately as possible. What is unique about the Mako robotic arm, it's the only orthopedic robotic system on the market that combines three dimensional imaging, such as a CT scan, with the electronics found in the robotic arm to allow the surgeon to make the cuts as precisely as possible.

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Man wears a surgical hood

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I think it's important for patients to understand the surgeon is doing the operation. The robotic arm is a tool to allow the surgeon to do a better job.

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Two hands on robotic tool

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The things that we're doing today with manual instruments are great. People do very well. But this is a chance to bring it one step further.

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MAUREEN TALARICO: For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico.

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SPEAKER 1: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.

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Patient Story

Learn about Tom Cornelison, the first knee replacement patient to benefit from Mako TM Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery.

Tom's Story Video Transcript

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A man strolls near a wooded area carrying a five gallon bucket. A fluffy dog bounds along at his side. He pours corn onto a low tray and spreads it with his hand.

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TOM CORNELISON: Hi. I'm Tom Cornelison. I was the first patient to use the Mako robot for my knee replacement at Essentia Health.

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A deer nibbles on corn. Tom Cornelison, Essentia Health Patient

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I like hunting, fishing, boating, and just being with family. Spending time up at the cabin, relaxing and enjoying life. Working for the 148th Fighter Wing being an aircraft mechanic, as far as the knee issue goes, there's a lot of squatting. There's a lot of up and down on the airplanes, jumping off of wings, and when you're maintaining the aircraft.

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Woman deals cards to him at a kitchen table.

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Yeah, the things I love to do and were limited tremendously. Working out in the woods, couldn't do that. And I'd come back and I'd suffer for a half a day trying to get the pain away. And limiting me so bad that it was very frustrating.

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Bradley Edgerton, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon

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DR. BRADLEY EDGERTON: He began seeing Dr. Jay Butcher, one of my non-surgical partners, for his knee and went through the entire gamut of non-surgical care for his knee, which turned out to be severely osteoarthritic. So once he had failed all the conservative measures that Dr. Butcher had at his disposal, Dr. Butcher asked me to see Tom for consideration of knee replacement. However, at the time that I did his first knee, we didn't have Mako. We didn't have a robotic assisted surgical procedure. I did manual instrumentation. And I think it's fair to say that Tom struggled a bit with his first operation. TOM CORNELISON: It was stiffer than what I thought it should be. I'd do the exercises, and I couldn't get the range of motion that I would like and what they would like. DR. BRADLEY EDGERTON: When he came to see me at the one month mark, he was only bending his knee to about 90 degrees. We had to put him through additional therapy because we really want people to get to around 120 degrees of bending by the time they're through their course of therapy. TOM CORNELISON: Worked hard at it. And went till about ready to cry.

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A man in scrubs and a surgical mask and cap rotates a large white machine arm. Text, Mako.

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DR. BRADLEY EDGERTON: The robotic procedure came around at Essentia through a generous donation from the Essentia Foundation right about the time Tom was getting ready to consider his second knee. The Mako robot allows us to do very accurate hip and knee replacements for our patients. And the way that it works is it really combines computer technology with advanced imaging and the surgeon's skill to allow us to make very precise bone cuts for preparation of hip and knee replacements, get very precise placement of hip and knee implants. And all of those things are what contribute to long-term success. TOM CORNELISON: Sherry called me and said that there was this opportunity. And I hesitated for maybe a minute. And I said, you bet. But I said, my only requirement is that I want to be first. Be the pioneer, I guess. DR. BRADLEY EDGERTON: We talked about the complexity of his knee deformity and the fact that I, as a surgeon, could probably have much better information about how to fix his knee by using the robotic information and robotic guidance. So we did a second knee using the robot. And the difference was remarkable. TOM CORNELISON: The range of motion was unbelievable, to start with. It definitely made a huge difference. There was less bruising, less bleeding. DR. BRADLEY EDGERTON: It was very gratifying for me personally to watch Tom go through the second operation to see this come to fruition with a patient actually having a much better quality of life and a much better outcome is really gratifying. CAROL CORNELISON:

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Carol Cornelison, Tom's Wife

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By next summer, we can go for our long walks in the woods with the dogs that we like to do. We can go fishing again. And we can just move.

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TOM CORNELISON: The difference is unbelievable. A huge thank you to the team because they gave me my life back. I can see where not too far down the road I can go back to putting up wood, working in my deer stands, and enjoying my family. So it's a blessing.

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Text, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Like Nowhere ElseThe Essentia Health logo appears, consisting of three leaves in a circle. Text, Essentia Health

Nationally Recognized Care

You can feel confident that you’ll get safe, high-quality joint replacement care at Essentia Health. Our major joint replacement centers are recognized as Blue Distinction Centers or Blue Distinction Centers+ for Knee and Hip Replacement by Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The Joint Commission has also certified Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center (Brainerd) in hip and knee replacement. Learn more about the location closest to you:

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