Eugenia Dziopa has always been an avid walker, enjoying daily walks through her northern New Jersey neighborhood. But two years ago he began to experience left knee pain from degenerative arthritis.
“I realized I couldn’t walk far anymore,” says Eugenia, who was 64 at the time. “If I were even half a block away, or even from the parking lot to work, I would be in pain. That was my breaking point and I knew I needed to see an orthopedic specialist. ”
Eugenia made an appointment with Yair D. Kissin, MD, vice president of orthopedic surgery at Hackensack University Medical Center, the same hospital where Eugenia works as a biorepositive technologist.
“The rule is when a person begins to see a decrease in their function and ability to do things that make them happy on a day-to-day basis, they should seek help,” Dr. Kissin says. “There are non-operational means that we almost always try first. Initially, we did conservative treatments for Eugenia, including physiotherapy followed by injections. In the case of Eugenia, those did not work.
Eugenia adds: “I thought I would get physiotherapy and improvement, but it only helped a little. Steroid injections only gave me temporary relief that lasted one day at a time. ”
In early 2020, Hackensack became the first hospital in the country to offer patients new robotic technology for total knee replacement procedures for patients with degenerative bone or bone arthritis. Thus, in January of that year, Dr. Kissin discussed this new surgical option with Eugenia.
“The moment was impeccable,” Dr. Kissin recalls. “About a week after Hackensack acquired the technology, he was looking for a good candidate. Since Eugenia had been my patient for a while, I had a good relationship with her. I thought he was the right person to talk about this technological advancement. ”
Robot Technology to the Rescue
With the new robotic technology, preoperative planning allows the surgeon to design and prepare, in a virtual environment, the patient’s personalized joint replacement surgical plan. The active robot helps the surgeon execute the preoperative surgical plan with automated cutting and hands-free and removal of diseased bone and cartilage. The technology helps surgeons with optimal joint implant placement based on each patient’s unique anatomy.
In February 2020, Eugenia became the first patient in the country to have a total knee replacement with the new robotic technology after it became commercially available.
“Everything went really well,” Dr. Kissin says. “Eugenia spent two nights in the hospital. Two weeks later, he returned for a postoperative visit, underwent physical therapy, and was already in 90-degree motion. When he saw me at three months, I had 120 degrees of movement, which is normal, without taking pain medication or using a cane.
Dr. Kissin has performed more than 60 joint replacement procedures with the new robotic technology, which is the only active robot system commercially available for total knee replacement that supports an open implant library, giving surgeons the choice of implantation options according to the individual needs of each patient. .
“This is the future of orthopedic surgery and knee replacement,” says Dr. Kissin. “Hackensack is ahead in doing it now.”
Life after knee replacement
In August 2020, just six months after her total knee replacement, Eugenia felt like her old person before she had knee pain.
“I am very happy to have decided to do a total knee replacement and I am grateful to have the option to perform robotic surgery,” she says. “Otherwise, I would just be sitting. I was in so much pain. There really was no alternative. The addition of the robot gave me confidence that the procedure would be precise and precise ”.
In February 2021, Eugenia celebrated the milestone of a year after surgery.
“I can walk more than a mile through my neighborhood with no problems,” he says. “I also take the stairs to work now instead of the elevator to get extra exercise. I can do everything I do before I have knee problems. ”
Eugenia is grateful that she made the decision to have the surgery because it has allowed her to enjoy family time again.
“I have my normal life back. I have grandchildren and I can walk with them. My life is so much better now than it was before a knee replacement surgery, ”he says.
Dr. Kissin could not be more pleased with Eugenia’s result. “Ten years from now, when everyone gets a robotic knee replacement, Eugenia will probably think she was one of the first,” she says.
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