James’ Mako System Total Knee Replacement Success Story

total knee replacement surgery

Patient James Barber 

James Barber was born and raised in Arizona and enjoys a career as a long-haul trucker. In his spare time, he enjoys boating. A motorcycle accident on a rainy day in 1980 put an end to his motorcycle riding days and resulted in a broken knee. Prior to the accident, James competed in motocross racing and enjoyed riding his Harley Davidson.   

Many years following the broken knee injury, James’ knee pain resurfaced. He decided to see Dr. Brian Gruber, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon. Ultimately, to restore function and relieve pain, James underwent a Mako total knee arthroplasty (replacement) surgery. This surgery uses robotic technology to provide patients with a more minimally-invasive surgical option compared to a traditional knee replacement surgery. Research shows that patients who receive Mako robotic-arm assisted surgery do better in recovery and outcomes than those who undergo a traditional knee replacement. Dr. Gruber is one of the few surgeons in Arizona who perform total and partial knee replacements using the Mako system.  

James’ Story Prior to Meeting Dr. Gruber 

Before meeting with Dr. Gruber, James visited several doctors over the years. Initially, after his accident, he had an x-ray and was told by his primary care physician that it appeared he had only bruised and pulled a muscle in his knee. Three to four months following that visit, the pain in James’s knee began to go away, so he moved on with his life. However, after some time, James visited another specialist who told James that based on what he saw from an x-ray and CAT scan, the damage to his knee looked extensive. Reluctant to have surgery at that busy time in his life, James opted not to and carried on with his life. However, many years later he noticed that his knee pain was increasingly getting worse. 

“The pain was like a light switch – it would immediately stop me in my tracks while I was doing whatever activity I was doing at the time,” he said. “I would quickly have to find a place to sit down or I would fall down.”  

Unable to handle the pain anymore, James decided to search online for an orthopedic specialist and found Dr. Gruber.  

James’ Visit with Dr. Gruber to Discuss a Mako System Total Knee Replacement Surgery 

During James’ visit, Dr. Gruber confirmed the broken knee diagnosis he’d previously received. Dr. Gruber also informed James that extensive damage had been done to his knee due to improper healing.   

“My left leg was shorter than my right leg and I had no cartilage left in my kneecap,” James learned. “My left leg became bow-legged from living with the injury for so long.”  

Wanting to provide James with a new start, Dr. Gruber suggested Mako total knee replacement surgery to reduce his pain and gain back his mobility.  

James’ Successful Mako Total Knee Replacement Surgery & Recovery 

In May, James had his Mako system operation. He has since completed three weeks of physical therapy and is pain-free. 

“Yesterday, I could stand up for a half hour straight for the first time in 10 years,” he exclaimed. “I am currently working to strengthen the muscles in my knee and am very happy with my progress so far.”  

James’ Experience with Dr. Gruber and the Staff at Integrated Orthopedics 

James is forever thankful for the care and positive outcome Dr. Gruber and the Integrated Orthopedics team provided him.  

“Dr. Gruber has not only given me my life back, but he has also given me a new outlook on life,” shared James.  

He was also pleased that Dr. Gruber was also able to improve the straightness of his leg.  

“I consider Dr. Gruber not only my doctor, but a good friend and I wouldn’t have gone to any other place, James summarized.