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Francesca Najdzin

Mountainside, NJ
  • Francesca Najdzin in the photo 1

When I first had severe knee pain I was riding a bike during the summer of 2016. After riding through Allaire State Park with my family and my boyfriend, we stopped by an old train station for a break and that's when the first burst of unbearable pain came on. I had a prior surgery done after a fall left me with a large puncture wound on my knee and became infected. My boyfriend had convinced me to see a doctor to make sure everything was OK. Meanwhile, I was convinced it was built up scar tissue. Two doctors (immediately, might I add) misdiagnosed it as a meniscus tear, considering the type of pain and location was consistent with one. After many MRIs, contrast, no contrast, PT, and shots, nothing took the pain away. The third doctor ultimately decided to take a look for himself, telling us it was either a meniscus tear that was hard to see on scans or an inflamed medial plica. He found the plica and cleaned up the inside of my knee and I was feeling good. A few months later while I was working out, I heard and felt a pop come from knee and the pain started again, only this time it was much worse. After a lot of head scratching and more shots, I had given up.

Doing the things I loved and my active lifestyle came to a screeching halt. The pain would make my knee give out and I'd fall or I'd have to stop walking and wait for it to pass. Being only 23 years old, the knee pain didn't make sense and I decided I wasn't going to live my life this way.

Thankfully, my mom had suggested looking into HSS for a doctor to get another opinion. I found Dr. Strickland on the website, noticing her achievements and areas of expertise, I made an appointment. From the start Dr Strickland was great, really trying to understand what was going on in my knee. She was doing everything she could to avoid another surgery, including shots and PT. Eventually, those didn't work and she decided to take a look for herself. Since we came from New Jersey, Dr. Strickland operated on me first on February 26, 2018. From the moment we got there to the moment we left, the entire experience was superb. The staff and nurses made me feel relaxed. They were able to comfort my anxious parents and of course Dr. Strickland did a great job. When she got in there, she removed some inflammation and removed more medial plica while also performing a partial lateral release.

A few months later and I'm finally living a pain free life. Working hard to build strength during PT. After a recent checkup with Dr. Strickland, she said I'm doing awesome and I couldn't be happier. I'm finally pain free, and can live my life to the fullest.