Eric's Mako Story

Sep 20, 2019

Eric Mingledorff had a unique experience at Saint Francis Hospital.

He came to Memphis as an airshow pilot and met his wife, Debbie, there in 1982. She agreed to marry him in 1987 and he has been a Memphian ever since.

Eric with his planesAfter retiring, Eric began to experience pain in his left knee when navigating stairs and kneeling to work on planes and it progressively worsened to cause limping and more pain. After trying injections in his knee, his doctors advised the best treatment for the bone on bone condition would be a knee replacement which he had in 2015.

Fast forward a few years and Eric began to experience the same condition in his right knee. Friends in Louisiana who'd had knee replacements encouraged him to find a Mako physician to perform his next knee replacement. They told him the Mako-robotic arm assisted surgery was so much better for recovery than the traditional surgery that he absolutely should consider it. The technology enables surgeons to provide each patient with a personalized, surgical experience based on his or her specific diagnosis and anatomy.

So, Eric took to the internet to find a facility in Memphis that could perform the Mako total knee replacement. Much to his surprise, he found that Saint Francis Hospital - Memphis was his only Mako option in the area. His decision to change doctors, hospitals, and procedure types is a decision he’s never regretted.

On February 25th, 2019, Eric underwent a total knee replacement with Dr. Jean Simard and the Mako Robotic-assisted arm at Saint Francis. Two days following surgery, Eric remarked that for the time he was in the hospital, the surgery felt no different than the earlier surgery on his left knee. At home, on the third day, he noticed a marked difference in his recovery. He used a walker for that day and decided it was getting in his way, switching to a cane which he used from day four to day ten. After the tenth day, he was walking unassisted. Eric attended physical therapy for nine sessions and his therapists and other patients were stunned at his rapid recovery. He commented, “Patients who had their traditional knee replacement at the same time as me are still using their walkers.”

Eric’s recovery has him back doing things he’d taken for granted. While at the beach in Florida recently, he knelt down in the sand with no pain – something that he couldn’t do for several years following his 2015 knee replacement.

“The Mako procedure was 300% better for recovery for me. My experience has been exceptional. Dr. Simard, Saint Francis and everyone was great. I have been to others for various surgical procedures and by far, Saint Francis and their staff were the best. Whoever brought the Mako to Saint Francis and Memphis should be commended. It is great to have such an advanced procedure right here in our town.”