Crossing the Bridge for Knee Replacement Surgery

Virtua Joint Replacement Institute Patient Story - BusilloThe pain began as she was preparing for a breast cancer 5k run to honor her sister. She was out for a jog when she fell and felt a pop in her knee. Her meniscus had torn.

For two years, Linda Busillo of South Philadelphia pursued physical therapy, water therapy, cortisone and ‘chicken shots’ (hyaluronic acid injected into the knee joint), all to avoid ‘going under the knife’. Nothing helped. Because she was caring for her mother who had suffered a stroke, she knew she couldn’t be out for long to recuperate from surgery. For two years, she hobbled through work and popped acetaminophen.

She may have continued on that path, but her knee had a different idea. She was leaving work one day when her leg wouldn’t move. She took a pain pill, iced it and waited. Eventually, she had to call her husband to take her home. That was in November.

Because Linda makes her living as an investigator in the law department of the City of Philadelphia, she was able to apply the same investigative talents when finding a surgeon. She met with two separate surgical groups in Philadelphia and learned she was suffering from severe osteoarthritis. She eliminated one surgeon after investigating his surgical record; the other told her that the minimally invasive approach she wanted was unreasonable. She wanted to be heard and taken seriously. So she decided to cross the bridge and give the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute a try.

She met with Dr. Scott Schoifet, medical director of the Institute. He explained what she could expect during and after a minimally invasive quad sparing knee replacement. He suggested she take some time to think about it. Between that experience and the satisfied patients she talked to in his office, she quickly decided to have her surgery at Virtua. Dr. Schoifet recommended a seven-week course of physical therapy to increase her arm and leg strength to help with recovery from the surgery scheduled for January.

Because of her injury, Linda had not worked for three months. Following surgery, she was back in seven weeks. She discontinued pain medication the day after she came home from the hospital and was climbing steps without assistance shortly after. Six weeks post-surgery, her range-of-motion was 110 percent, and she was able to go biking seven days a week, the pain she felt for years now gone.

“Being at the Virtua Joint Replacement Institute was like being on vacation. It wasn’t like a hospital. It wasn’t noisy. The meals were great. They call you on the phone to ask you what time you would like breakfast or lunch, and delivered it to accommodate my therapy sessions. It was amazing. We even got to sit and watch a movie without being interrupted. I keep telling everyone about it. It was wonderful.”

Updated April 19, 2017

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