Robotic Surgery Helps Hip Replacement Patient Get Back to Work

“If my story can convince anyone else to stop putting off hip surgery, tell it to everyone.”

Eight years in the army, running every day, dancing since the fourth grade -- Griselle “Gigi” Cepeda of Mount Holly, New Jersey, isn’t herself if she’s sitting still, which is why when her second hip started giving her trouble and she was unable to move, she got depressed.

Gigi had her right hip replaced by Dr. Rajesh Jain at Virtua five years ago. It was then she discovered that she had a genetic birth defect that nobody had previously identified.  She was hesitant to get the second hip done since she didn’t want to go through the recovery process and be inactive, but the pain had become unbearable. 

She decided that no doctor other than Dr. Jain would operate on her hip. “My first surgery went so well, why change doctors?” she asked.  Dr. Jain told Gigi about the new advancements in robotic assisted hip surgery and how it would be done with just three small incisions and reduced recovery time.

Gigi had robotic assisted hip replacement surgery on September 8, 2016 and was back at work by October 21 that year.

“The surgery was faster and in the end I healed faster,” she said. “I was told not to do a lot of lifting or walking for a while, but I was fine. It was nothing. I recouped really fast. My rehab was outstanding. Instead of doing five minutes on the treadmill, I was doing ten.”

In August, Gigi couldn’t walk up or down steps. She couldn’t tie her own shoes. She couldn’t have a normal life. Just two months later, her depression is gone and she’s back to her “crazy active life.” And now instead of taking dance lessons, she’s teaching kids how to pirouette.

“All of the sudden, and wow. I’m back.”

Updated June 1, 2017

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