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Double Knee Replacement Gives Patient New Lease on Life

kurtinitisRobert Kurtinitis of Dallas, Pennsylvania had arthritic knees for eight years and wore a brace from his knees to his ankles. He lived in constant pain and was resigned to sitting for much of his life because walking was so difficult.

Robert decided he had had enough, so just days after he turned 63 on July 24, 2012, he underwent a double knee replacement.

“It is a bit unusual to do simultaneous knee replacements, but Robert had relatively good health and would benefit tremendously from the procedure,” says William Krywicki, MD, director of orthopaedics and sports medicine at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center. “His knees were severely arthritic, so if we had done only one he wouldn’t have been able to take full advantage of function until the other was done, which would have limited his rehabilitation of the first knee.”

“When Dr. Krywicki said I was otherwise healthy enough to have both knees done at the same time, I decided that was the right course,” says Robert. “I figured I’d better do both so there was no possible way I’d have one done and then have something occur that would prevent me from doing the other.”

Robert stayed in the hospital for two days post-surgery, then was released to a rehabilitation clinic where he stayed for seven days, though he was told he might be there as long as 15 days. He was making such progress, he was released to his home and completed rehabilitation three times per week. At home he did eight exercises each day up to 40 times each, which really paid off.

“Right now you can’t even imagine the difference in mobility. Prior to surgery, I couldn’t walk anywhere without a cane or holding on to something,” says Robert. “Now I’m ready to throw away the cane. I ride a bicycle every day, go to the YMCA and joined Silver Sneakers. I even went out and shoveled snow the other day.”

As for his care at Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center, Robert says, “I couldn’t ask for better care. Dr. Krywicki did a fantastic job,” says Robert. “The space is so much more patient friendly; parking is easier and there are no elevators.”