Blessing Health orthopedic surgeon Dr. Darr Leutz is using new technology to replace worn out knees. He is very excited about the results it is delivering for his patients.

“It’s what I would want for my mother, sister, brother, or myself,” he said.

It is the Velys robotic-assisted solution for total knee replacement.

Velys brings a level of digital precision into the operating room that delivers a real-time, personalized approach to each patient’s care based on their anatomy.

According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, more than 700,000 total knee replacements are performed annually in the U.S. This number continues to grow as the population ages.

How Velys works

Velys’s key features include optical trackers that communicate with a high-speed camera, and a robot-assisted device that Dr. Leutz uses to remove damaged bone with exceptional accuracy.

The two trackers are placed on the problem knee and communicate with the camera. This creates a 3D, real-time model of the patient’s knee. During the procedure, the data is updated continuously, enhancing the precision of the incisions made, and of the balancing of the replaced knee as the procedure progresses.

A knee replacement lacking proper balance and alignment leads to joint stiffness and instability for the patient going forward.

“We are making knee incisions within 0.5 millimeters of accuracy and with a balanced knee virtually every time, thanks in part to direct feedback from the robot,” the doctor said.

Dr. Leutz says to patients Velys delivers less time in surgery, fewer incisions needed leading to less pain, and a quicker return to normal function and every day activities.

“All that is because Velys allows us to provide the patient with a game-changing level of precision of our incision and in the alignment and balance of their new knee.”

Lynette Russell agrees.

Lynette’s story

A Blessing Hospital employee, Lynette had knee problems for 10 years simply due to everyday wear-and-tear. She managed the pain, at first with steroid injections. When those stopped working Lynette underwent arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure to remove some of the damaged portions of her left knee. That brought her pain relief for another two years.

Then came May 5, 2023.  Lynette was in an auto accident that broke her left leg, the same leg with the troublesome knee.

“My knee was probably the size of a softball,” she recalls. “It was huge. The accident suddenly changed my way of walking completely. I couldn’t do anything without constant pain”


“Dr. Leutz told me I was now a perfect candidate for a total knee replacement,” Lynette continued. “He also told me the procedure was going to be more precise and accurate than was possible in the past because he was now using the Velys system. I felt good about that.”

While faithfully following her physical therapy program after surgery, Lynette said she was back at work even more quickly than she expected. Now, she looks forward to all the things she will be able to do this summer - camping, swimming, fishing and keeping up with the busy grandkids - without the pain that had plagued her for years. 
In addition to appreciation for the skill and knowledge of Dr. Leutz, Lynette has one more “thank you” to share.

“You have to thank modern technology. It keeps moving forward.”

And that technology is available at Blessing Hospital. For more information on the Velys robotic-assisted solution for total knee replacement, go to https://www.blessinghealth.org/treatments/velys.