It all started the year before her 50th wedding anniversary when Dolores Byrnes and her husband were thinking about how to celebrate their long and happy marriage.
While most couples would have opted for a grand party, Dolores and her husband decided on a grand safari to see lions and tigers and elephants. Dolores says: “There was only one problem. Before I could take the trip, I had to do something dramatic about my continual knee pain."
Although slim and in great shape, Dolores had long-suffered from osteoarthritis in both knees. Osteoarthritis is a condition where the cartilage in the knee deteriorates, causing extreme stiffness and life-altering pain. “Every step I took hurt. My life was being ruined,” Dolores explains.
In 2011, after years of seeing physicians, Dolores went to see Virtua rheumatologist, Sheldon Solomon, MD. Dr. Solomon treated her with cortisone shots and other injected medications.
But the time had come when only total knee replacements would correct her orthopedic problem. Dolores was recommended to Scott Schoifet, MD, a Virtua orthopedic surgeon, who pioneered the quad-sparing total knee replacement. Using this advanced, quad-sparing technique, the surgeon does not cut the quadriceps tendon.
As Dolores planned her African safari, she also worked on getting her knees done. Within three months time, Dolores had both knees replaced by Dr. Schoifet. She says: “After the first knee replacement, I did my rehab, and was back playing golf within six weeks.
And just seven months after my second knee was done, I was climbing in and out of a Range Rover in Krueger National Park in Africa.
My new knees gave me back my life. And I took this new life, along with my husband of 50 years, on the adventure of a lifetime.”