BVRMC Patient Receives New Knees with Stryker’s Mako SmartRobotics™ System

Amber Chrischilles | July 28th, 2023

Why have one total knee surgery when you can have two? After dealing with pain and discomfort for years, Rex Rimmer from Schaller decided that it was time to have surgery on both of his knees, one month apart from each other.

“The jobs that I’ve had pretty much my whole life have been somewhat physical, and I believe that–troweling cement, working concrete, shingling, stuff like that–attributed to the wear, and I got to the point where I literally couldn’t walk anymore,” says Rimmer. “So I just thought I’d do them both as soon as possible.”

Together with his providers, Seth Harrer, MD, and Steffany Hinkeldey, ARNP, at Northwest Iowa Bone, Joint and Sports Surgeons, a hospital department at BVRMC, he was able to get the care he needed.

Dr. Harrer performed Rimmer’s procedure using the Mako SmartRobotics™ System, which uses advanced technology for greater precision and a faster recovery.

Much to his surprise, within days after his first surgery, Rimmer was able to walk without a walker or pain medication. A month after his first total knee surgery, Rimmer went back to have his other knee done.

“The Mako SmartRobotics™ System enhances the way joint replacement surgeries are performed, allowing us to have a more precise preoperative plan,” says Dr. Harrer. “This advanced technology helps improve outcomes for our patients, getting them back to the things they love–faster and with less pain.”

Rimmer remarked that his experience was made even better thanks to the staff at BVRMC. “The day of the operation, from the moment I checked in until I checked out, everybody was so open, kind and funny,” says Rimmer.

At BVRMC, Rimmer truly felt like he received personalized care and was not just a number. “I felt like a person,” says Rimmer. “I know that’s cliché, and people say that all the time. I have been to bigger hospitals and had different surgeries, and to me, I felt like a number. And here, people would come in and check on me.”

After physical therapy with BVRMC’s Rehab Services, Rimmer continued to improve his range of motion. While having surgery on both knees a month apart from each other is no small feat, Rimmer worked hard throughout his recovery process.

Having his diagnostic imaging, surgery, pharmacy and physical therapy services close to home was an added benefit to the high level of care he received at BVRMC. “There was no reason to go anywhere else,” says Rimmer.

Now, with his new knees, he looks forward to enjoying the small things in life without the discomfort he used to feel. “I didn’t realize how much the deterioration had affected my life,” says Rimmer.

“I have goals. My grandkids, to be able to play with them back on the floor again. Be able to go for walks, other than just to the corner and back,” says Rimmer. “Before it got really bad, I was walking six to eight miles a day, and I haven’t been able to do that for three and a half years.”

Today, he is feeling better than he has been in a long time. “The other night was the first night I slept all night in over four years, so that’s how I feel. It’s emotional,” says Rimmer.

Standing next to each other in patient room, Steffany Hinkeldey, ARNP, Rex Rimmer and Seth Harrer, MD.
Rex Rimmer is grateful for the care he received after having total-knee surgery on both of his knees. (left to right) Steffany Hinkeldey, ARNP, Rex Rimmer and Seth Harrer, MD.
Kim McCleary, PT, next to Rex Rimmer on a workout bike at BVRMC.
Rex Rimmer continued to recover throughout his physical therapy appointments at BVRMC. (left to right) Kim McCleary, PT, and Rex Rimmer.
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