A view from the other side – a physician as patient

A view from the other side – a physician as patient

Knee replacement surgery with thoughtful care from start to finish

Steven M. Dellose, M.D.
Steven M. Dellose, M.D.

Retired physician Timothy Wozniak knew Christiana Care Health System as a former oncologist at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute, so when he needed relief from severe pain and limited mobility in his left knee, he turned to the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at Christiana Care.

“I had great respect for the physicians at Christiana Care, the organization’s high success rate and recognitions of excellence. Dr. Steven Dellose, an orthopaedic surgeon at the Center for Advanced Joint Replacement, was recommended to me right away because of his vast experience with knee replacement surgery.

“His cautious approach made a big impact on me … especially for someone who does a lot of knee replacements. He suggested that we try alternatives before jumping right into the surgery. We did a series of injections, which helped for a few years, and I appreciated the delay in having the knee replacement.

“Then, my wife and I took a trip to Paris over the Christmas holidays and I had a really tough time with my knee. I was in absolute agony (but I didn’t tell my wife) and, with the aid of a cane, we walked all over Paris. At my next appointment, Dr. Dellose said, ‘Well, you’re ready now for surgery,’ and he didn’t hesitate with his recommendation. Again, his approach gave me the confidence that going ahead with the surgery was the right decision – that was very important.”

A few months later, Wozniak had a total left knee replacement. To help prepare for his surgery, he attended a pre-op education class at Christiana Care. He was impressed by the professional presentation and information provided to help patients know what to expect.

“When I went in for the surgery, I was pleasantly surprised at the efficiency of the whole team and how smoothly everything went. Because I had a dedicated team of nurses, anesthesiologists, operating room technicians, physician assistants and so forth, I experienced a well-rehearsed orchestration of how to get in and out of surgery very efficiently. I was pleased with the post-operative nursing care and pain control.

“I was even more pleased by the fact that I was able to leave the hospital in just a little over 24 hours from the time I walked in. It was amazing. I was impressed by how it all went and how well they put it all together.”

Wozniak finished rehab and met all of his goals within a month. “About four to six months after surgery,” he says, “I realized, my goodness, I don’t have any pain ­­– it was one of those aha moments. I’m able to walk around just about everywhere I want and I’m not even thinking about my knee. I use the stationary bike at the gym. My wife and I have resumed our walks together and I do that without any pain or distress. I’m playing golf, which I was really concerned about, and my knee is not an issue at all.

“I am just tickled pink by how everything went.”