JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - For the first time, doctors at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville are using a robot to help perform full knee replacement surgeries on patients.

"I was playing tennis, I was hitting a forehand and I heard something pop," said native Texan, Mini Kincaid. She said she tore her meniscus and since skiing, hiking and even walking became painful. Eventually she was told she would need a full knee replacement.

A robot at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville came to her rescue.

"All of a sudden I'm walking, and I'm biking and I'm almost normal," she said.

Her surgery at Mayo Clinic was a success and the first in the region to be performed with the help of the robotic arm.

"I do the surgery, I'm holding an instrument, but it guides my hand," said Orthopedic Surgeon Dr. Cedric Ortiguera. He said he never dreamed of having that kind of partner in surgery.

"When I finished my orthopedic training 18 years ago, I never thought I'd be using a robot in the operating room," he said.

While the robot doesn't perform the surgery alone, it does play a vital role.

"It’s very important for us to balance the soft tissues of the ligament that support the knee and we have a hard time doing that without this type of technology," Dr. Ortiguera said.

For Kincaid, it’s much more than a just a robot. The technology has helped her get her life back. "I feel like it's the light at the end of the tunnel," she said.

Dr. Ortiguera said if you want to find out more about robotic knee replacement surgery, click here.