Denise's Patient Story – Partial Knee Replacement

After injuring her arthritic knee, Denise had a partial knee replacement using robotic technology. Read about her experience here.

Injuring her arthritic knee

“I was working from home because of COVID and needed a release. I needed to see people, so I decided to join a small gym. I wanted to get out and be healthier in a way that would help me be accountable for my fitness. I realize I’m not a spring chicken but I still went 5 days a week, every week!

On March 17, I was doing jumping jacks when my knee popped. Everyone in the gym heard it… it was that loud. I knew that I’d done something, but thankfully I could still walk.

I’m an event planner and had a busy schedule coming up. I hobbled along and did my duties. The first event started in Florida. By this time, I could barely walk. I was planning back-to-back events, so I wouldn’t be going home for a while. I ended up finding a local doctor and went to see him the following Monday. He gave me an injection and told me to take ibuprofen. Then, I left for my next event in Louisiana.”

“When I returned home, I was still in a lot of pain. The injection didn’t work for me. At best, it lasted 2 weeks before I was in pain again. So, I made an appointment with a local orthopedic surgeon. I got in right away and had an MRI and X-rays. This showed that I had a torn meniscus, which I was pretty much expecting.” 

“The doctor said that he could go in and repair the meniscus tear; however, he didn’t think it was a fix-all-be-all because I was so close on wear that I was going to be bone-on-bone soon.”

Not all patients are candidates for this product and/or procedure. Only a medical professional can determine the treatment appropriate for your specific condition.

“Ironically, I had this same situation back in 2013. I tore the meniscus in my other knee, had it repaired, then 3 months later had to get a partial knee replacement because I’d become bone-on-bone. I wasn’t going down that path again. I trusted my doctor’s advice and decided to get the partial knee.

After I’d made the decision to have a partial knee replacement, my doctor asked how I’d feel about having a robot assist during the procedure. He wanted to use a robotic technology called ROSA® Robotics. I’m always willing to try new things so I said, of course, and we scheduled my surgery.”

Talk to your surgeon about whether joint replacement is right for you and the risks of the procedure, including the risks of infection, implant wear, loosening, breakage or failure, any of which can necessitate additional surgery or treatment.

Partial knee replacement using robotic technology

“The doctor wanted to do my surgery in an outpatient surgery center, but I wanted his first possible appointment, which ended up being at a hospital. Even though I was ok with the idea of a surgery center, I just wanted the first date I could get.

During surgery, I had a spinal block instead of general anesthesia so I wasn’t fully “out”. I remember going into the OR and transferring onto a different table, but I don’t remember anything after that point (thankfully). My surgery began at 11:30 and I “came to” about 2 pm in the recovery room with my husband.

My first thought was, I have no pain! My doctor said this was because of a local anesthetic he injected into my joint at the end of my surgery, which could last up to 3 days.

I wanted to get up right away, but had to be able to wiggle my toes on that leg before I was allowed to stand up. I really had to concentrate to get that motion back. Once I did, I walked to the bathroom and back with my walker. When it was time to leave, I walked out to the truck on my own using the walker. I walked into my home on my own using my walker.” 

“I continued to use my walker the first night. But, overall I felt stable. I didn’t have pain any more. And, I wasn’t on strong pain medicine. I was amazed how pain-free I was and how motivated I was to get back to normal.

One thing that surprised me was that I didn’t have any staples… they used glue to close my incision! On Thursday, I could remove my dressings and shower like normal. I couldn’t be in a bath or pool for 4 weeks, but just being able to shower without worrying about getting it wet was amazing.

My husband had asked my doctor about ROSA Robotics after my surgery was done. He asked if it was faster to use a robot for surgery like this. The doctor told him that using the robot takes a little more time (not much), but it’s more precise and accurate.1-2 It was cool to hear that.” 

Learn more about ROSA Robotics for Knee Replacement

“I only took 4 days of vacation for my surgery. Working from home allowed me to do it. I had meetings and work changes. So, I ended up working sooner than expected. All my co-workers were amazed. But, I have been with my company for 42 years. I’m a dedicated employee and want to do my job to the fullest.”

My surgery was about 3 months ago and my recovery has been phenomenal!

My recovery

“I went to physical therapy (PT) 1 time per week because I promised my doctor that I’d do my exercises on my own. Each week when I went back to PT, they could see that I really was doing my exercises because I was progressing really well. They’d push me harder each week during PT, but I graduated quickly!

About 2 weeks after I started PT I was back at the gym 2 times per week. I was very careful riding bikes and such… very mild. Less than 2 months after my surgery I was graduated from PT. After I was released, I was back in the gym five times per week and still am.”

It’s important to follow your doctor’s orders and work hard in the weeks and months following joint replacement surgery to complete your physical therapy.

Appropriate post-operative activities and pain will differ from patient to patient. Results are not necessarily typical, indicative, or representative of all recipient patients.  Results will vary due to health, weight, activity and other variables. 

“My doctor said that it’ll be a year before I’m fully recovered, but I feel great. I’m only 3 months post-op, so I still try to take it easy. But, I don’t want to do jumping jacks again! I’m very active and very stubborn about being down. I have my life back!”

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  1. Parratte, S., et al. (2019). Accuracy of New Robotically-assisted Technique for Total Knee Arthroplasty: A Cadaveric Study. The Journal of Arthroplasty. 34(11): 2799-2803.
  2. Seidenstein, A., et al. (2020, May 24). Better accuracy and reproducibility of a new robotically-assisted system for total knee arthroplasty compared to conventional instrumentation: a cadaveric study. Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. doi: 1007/s00167-020- 06038-w. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 32448945. Cadaveric testing is not necessarily indicative of clinical performance.

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