Franklin County Medical Center Implements CT-free Robotic Orthopedic Surgery

Robotic-assisted surgery provides higher level of accuracy and precision for partial and total knee replacements.

Local Preston resident experiences total coordinated care for knee surgery. Read more…

This summer, Franklin County Medical Center (FCMC) added robotics-assisted surgery technology to the Specialty Clinic orthopedic services. The new NAVIO™ orthopedic surgical system (known affectionately as “R2Knee2”) helps surgeons perform precise and accurate partial and total knee replacement surgeries. This technology for partial knee replacements uses a CT-free intra-operative registration, planning and navigation platform to assist the surgeon in building patient-specific surgical plans. NAVIO™ robotics assists the surgeon in preparing the bone with the precision of robotics in a freehand sculpting technique.

“I knew this system would allow us to perform at a higher level of quality and give patients multiple knee replacement options,” said orthopedic surgeon Dr. Gregory Hicken, MD. “Being able to offer partials, revisions, and total knee replacement surgeries all in one place is something I’ve sought to bring to FCMC. With this new system, it’s made that possible.”

Using the surgical system, the surgeon collects and registers patient-specific anatomic data which the system uses to create a real-time, digital, 3D model of the patient’s knee. This layer of planning is designed to enable accurate implant placement and ligament balancing to achieve optimal patient outcomes. The NAVIO system does not require a pre-operative CT-scan, meaning patients are not exposed to the potentially harmful radiation experienced with this type of imaging.

Part of bringing in the new smart robot to the hospital is also bringing in the community to learn more about the benefits of the surgical system, with a Name That Robot contest and several meet the robot events. During the contest, over 70 names for the machine were entered from the Franklin County community with a final name, R2Knee2, chosen as the winner. Residents of the area were also able to see a free demonstration of R2Knee2 at the annual Leader’s Lunch and participate in an educational seminar with Dr. Hicken.

“We want our patients to have every opportunity to learn more about why this robot is an integral part of our commitment to total coordinated care and excellence in providing progressive healthcare in a rural community,” said FCMC CEO, Darin Dransfied.

The Patient Experience

Long-time Franklin County resident Sharon Naylor recently had a total knee replacement surgery here at Franklin County Medical Center. While this wasn’t Mrs. Naylor’s first knee surgery, she was the first to benefit from the NAVIO™ surgical system. “Any surgery can give you angst. With the team at FCMC, I felt more at ease than my first surgery. I was walked through what the procedure would be like, came in prior to surgery for an iovera૦ injection and after surgery, the rehab team was so caring in getting me back on my feet.”  The pre-surgery iovera૦ treatments are another welcome addition for surgeons and patients at the FCMC Specialty Clinic. iovera૦ uses modern cold therapy, or cryoanalgesia, technology for treating pain, potentially lowering or replacing the need for pain medications post surgery. Mrs. Naylor added, “I couldn’t believe the difference in pain with this surgery. My previous surgery hurt 10 times worse.”

Local resident receives a total knee replacement with the new surgical system at FCMC Specialty Clinic.

With an active lifestyle of enjoying motorcycles and snowmobiles over the years, Mrs. Naylor’s knees had started to wear down where she used knee braces and other surgical implements to help. Now that she has a new knee, Mrs. Naylor says she looks forward to recovering with the help of the “thoughtful, kind and awesome rehab team.”  

“Our goal isn’t to get patients back to the activities and lifestyle they had, but the one they want,” said Leo Robertson, Director of FCMC Rehabilitation. “We work closely with primary care physicians and the surgeons to ensure patients leave the hospital feeling good and continue on a plan at home to strengthen their knee for a total recovery.”

Read more about knee replacement surgery and who might benefit from a NAVIO™ assisted surgery on our website.

For physician referrals or to schedule an appointment to see if you’re a candidate for knee replacement surgery call 208.852.3662.

Have questions about your out of pocket costs for knee surgeries? Call 208.852.4160 to find out what your potential commercial and private insurances will cover.

For all media inquiries, contact or call the FCMC Public Relations office at 208.852.4107.

About Franklin County Medical Center
The Franklin County Medical Center campus delivers excellence and hospitality in rural healthcare, ranking as a Top 100 Critical Access Hospital two years in a row. Located in Preston, Idaho we offer healthcare to southeast Idaho and the surrounding areas in Cache Valley. Our Speciality Clinic offers nine services directly on campus: orthopedics, cardiology, general surgery, ophthalmology, urology, podiatry, ENT, psychiatry, and physiatry.

For more information follow us on our facebook page, or visit our website.

About Smith & Nephew
Smith & Nephew is a global medical technology business dedicated to helping health care professionals improve people’s lives. With leadership positions in Orthopaedic
Reconstruction, Advanced Wound Management, Sports Medicine and Trauma & Extremities, Smith & Nephew has around 14,000 employees and a presence in more than 100 countries. Annual sales in 2014 were more than $4.6 billion. Smith & Nephew is a member of the FTSE100 (LSE:SN, NYSE:SNN).

For more information about Smith & Nephew, please visit our corporate website www.smith-, follow @SmithNephewplc on Twitter or visit SmithNephewplc on

NAVIO and JOURNEY are trademarks of Smith & Nephew

*This article was updated on 7/26 to reflect “robotics-assisted surgery technology” text and additional technical information from Smith & Nephew.