Pain-free living after knee replacement

Published on November 03, 2021

Joint Patient

Pain-Free Living after Knee Replacement

This year, Sue Weld of Rockville, Maryland, got to do something she’d been missing: tend to her beloved garden plants and shrubs.

“MOST of my yard is garden,” said Sue, 82. “This year, I’ve been able to bend down to weed and prune under bushes,” she says. “And I had not been able to do that for the past couple of growing seasons before this one.”

In spring 2020, Sue twisted and tore the meniscus of her right knee while pruning plants – a sudden injury that worsened years of arthritis damage she’d already endured.

“My knee swelled up, and I could hardly walk,” Sue said. “I had never experienced that kind of pain before.”

Now, though, Sue is back to her full and active life after robotic-assisted total knee replacement surgery in October 2020. Her recovery was fast and essentially pain free. In August, she was able to spend hours on her feet as she strolled through a favorite D.C.-area museum.

“I navigated the Metro, walked hours at the museum and managed several flights of stairs, and it was not a problem,” Sue said. “It’s been wonderful.”

Cutting-edge knee replacement

Sue’s rheumatologist realized her meniscus tears would require surgery. In fall 2020, she sought treatment from Sridhar Durbhakula, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Adventist HealthCare Shady Grove Medical Center who specializes in knee and hip repair and replacement.

To perform Sue’s total knee replacement, Dr. Durbhakula utilized Shady Grove Medical Center’s ROSA® machine. This high-tech, robotic-assisted orthopedic surgery system allows surgeons to more precisely place knee replacement implants. ROSA®’s imaging abilities can capture real-time, 3D images of the patient’s precise knee anatomy.

With ROSA®, surgeons can accurately place knee implants with less separation of the muscles, leading to less pain and easier recovery for patients.

“There was no pain after the surgery,” Sue said. “I was able to walk in the hospital immediately after surgery with a walker.”

Sue attributes her fast and complete recovery both to the benefits of robotic-assisted surgery and to her own diligence about completing her daily, recommended physical therapy exercises to reduce the development of scar tissue.

She also credits Dr. Durbhakula and the entire orthopedic care team at Shady Grove Medical Center for helping the surgery go so smoothly. “Everyone there was excellent,” she said. “I can’t say enough good things about them.”

In the coming years, Sue expects she’ll need knee replacement on her left knee due to arthritis damage. When she does, she plans to ask for Dr. Durbhakula and the ROSA® system again.

“When it comes time to have another knee surgery, I won’t have any qualms about doing it,” Sue said. “Dr. Durbhakula explained that, with the ROSA®, he’s able to be incredibly precise in aligning the implants. It’s a phenomenal surgery.”

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