St. Francis-Emory Healthcare First in Chattahoochee Valley to Offer Total Knee Replacement with Robotic Technology

February 22, 2021

St. Francis-Emory Healthcare is pleased to announce its first total knee replacement with robotic technology was performed on Thursday, February 11, 2021, by orthopedic surgeon Dr. George Zimmerman. St. Francis is the first hospital in the Chattahoochee Valley to offer robotic surgery options for orthopedic patients.

“We are proud to be the first hospital in our region to provide access to this technology,” said Melody Trimble, chief executive officer at St. Francis.  “We know that robotic technology enables our surgeons to have a more predictable surgical experience with increased precision and accuracy and provides patients with options that are less invasive and provide faster recovery times. This addition to our orthopedic service line further demonstrates our commitment to making communities healthier.”

The new surgical system builds on St. Francis’s recent commitment to provide additional minimally invasive surgical options for a number of service lines. The 3D CT-based planning software allows the surgeon to move about the patient’s anatomy, enabling a personalized joint replacement surgical plan. With the technology, the surgeon follows the personalized surgical plan while preparing the bone for the total knee replacement and uses real-time data to assess the movement and tension of the new joint.

Dr. Zimmerman returned to St. Francis Orthopaedic Institute in December and specializes in hip & knee replacements. He echoes Trimble’s excitement for the new technology, emphasizing the benefit to patients:

“With this new technology, we know more about our patients than ever before through a personalized joint replacement surgical plan, and we’re able to make fewer – and smaller - incisions. For some patients, this can mean less soft-tissue damage; for others, greater bone preservation. It is an exciting time to be able to offer this transformative technology for our patients. St. Francis is raising the bar in robotic services in the region.”

Frequently cited clinical benefits associated with robot-assisted surgeries include less pain, less physical therapy, reduction in length of hospital stay, improved knee flexion, and less soft-tissue damage when compared to manual techniques.

In the upcoming months, St. Francis will host a community-wide “Name the New Robot” contest.  To learn more about our robotic services, visit