Meet some of the inspiring people whose quality of life improved after total joint replacement surgery at The Spine Center at Grand View Health:
“I didn’t skip a beat!” Life after robotic-arm assisted knee replacement surgery
As the owner of an award-winning catering and event planning company, Marjorie Monahan has spent her career on her feet preparing beautiful meals and functions for her clients to enjoy. But over the last few years, knee pain began to get in her way.
“In my business I work long days and also do a lot of grocery shopping at specialty food warehouse stores. Getting around was becoming very painful and difficult. If the building didn’t provide one of those ride on grocery carts, I needed assistance,” remembers Marjorie of Allentown.
When Marjorie heard Grand View Health was now offering Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for some patients who need total or partial knee replacements, she was intrigued. She scheduled a consultation with Paul Weidner, MD, with Upper Bucks Orthopaedics at Grand View Health who confirmed she was a good candidate for robotic assisted surgery.
“The great thing about Mako is that it can provide patients with a faster recovery with less pain because it brings a higher level of precision during surgery and ensures the artificial knee is placed in the exact proper position. It’s an excellent option for people on the go, like Marjorie,” explains Dr. Weidner.
A fast recovery with less pain was exactly what Marjorie hoped for, and exactly what she got when she had her total knee replacement surgery with Dr. Weidner in October 2018. She says her surgery was fast and easy and she was on her feet in a matter of days, cooking up orders for clients. “I didn’t skip a beat!”
Think you’re busy? Then meet John Langenstein. He’s in Japan one day, Hawaii the next. As the co-owner of a firm that handles security for major acts during worldwide tours, he’s helped to protect Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jay Z, Jackson Browne, Phish, and even Pope Francis. “I’m constantly in motion,” says Langenstein, 57, of Willow Grove.
But in early 2015, that motion slowed a bit. “My left knee hurt,” he says. “I thought I needed new sneakers.” What he really needed was surgery to repair a torn meniscus. Then, a couple months later, he re-injured his knee. “It crunched like a bag of potato chips,” he says.
Langenstein knew he’d eventually need total knee replacement surgery. But he couldn’t just stop touring. So his Philadelphia-area doctor referred him to orthopedic surgeon Paul Weidner, MD, of Upper Bucks Orthopaedics, and medical director of The Joint Center at Grand View Health. “Grand View was an hour from my home, but Dr. Weidner won me over,” Langenstein says. “He made a chart of pros and cons of the surgery and explained exactly what would happen.”
“Patients often see me after suffering knee problems for a long time,” says Dr. Weidner, who has been practicing in Sellersville and performing orthopaedic surgery for 30 years. “Some have had surgeries and injections, and have used medication or supplements to fight the pain. In all cases, it’s the patient who decides when he’s ready for total knee replacement.”
Langenstein had a tight timeframe – an eight-week touring break late in 2017. On November 7, 2017, he had the surgery at Grand View. “I’ve stayed in hotels worldwide, and Grand View is up there with one of the best,” he says. “I never felt like I was in the hospital.”
That day, Langenstein walked 280 feet to test his new knee. By Christmas day, after physical therapy and rehab, he could run across the room. And 131 days after surgery, he climbed 1,332 steps to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia.
Now back in perpetual motion, Langenstein has a new goal. “Next July, I want to run with the bulls in Pampalona, Spain,” he says.
I have always been a high-energy, active person, but faced arthritis as an adult. I was a patient of Dr. Paul Weidner’s for many years before scheduling my first hip joint replacement in 2004 at age 49, following several years of anti-inflammatory medications and painful walking.
When I asked Dr. Weidner how I’ll know when it is time for me to consider surgery, he said, “You will know it’s time when you can no longer do the things you love to do in life.” Without question, I chose to have my surgery at The Joint Center at Grand View Health.
I was fearful the day of my surgery, but my warm, friendly caregivers and nurses put me at ease immediately. Shortly after the surgery and recovery, I was back to living my normal life, doing the things I loved and anticipating our first grandchild.
Shortly before my 60th birthday, Dr. Weidner replaced my right knee. Kathy, my Home Care physical therapist, helped me reach my goal of playing on the floor with my grandchildren. Four months after knee surgery, I was biking 24 miles on Perkiomenville Bike Trail with my daughter, climbing Spruce Mountain, and slalom skiing on the river with our family.
In 2017, a birth anomaly caused non-stop pain in my right hip. My husband and I had planned to travel with friends in October, and my pain wouldn’t have allowed that to happen. X-rays confirmed my joint had deteriorated.
So, I had anterior hip replacement at Grand View and was home the next day. Four weeks after surgery, I resumed volunteer leadership of the Deep-Water Aquatics class at the YMCA. Eight weeks later, my husband and I traveled through Turkey and Greece pain free.
I can now do the things I love—swimming, biking, hiking, rollerblading and water skiing. I treasure the ability to garden, travel, volunteer, entertain and enjoy our 12 grandchildren.
Surgery and recuperation isn’t easy. But I’m thankful to live in a day when joints can be replaced and mobility restored. I’m thankful to live in a community that has a great hospital, staffed by kind and caring, experienced professionals. Thanks to Janice Hunsberger, The Joint Center coordinator, and all of the caregivers at Grand View Health.