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John Choi

Jersey City, NJ
  • John Choi in the photo 1

Well, this can’t be normal. Expecting to be in excruciating pain for weeks after knee surgery, I was up and walking just about pain free the next day. What’s going on here?

I first saw Dr. DiFelice for a second opinion. I’m glad I did some extensive research and found him. I was diagnosed with a rare condition called PVNS, or Pigmented Villonodular Synovitis, a benign tumor in my knee that had been completely ruining my life for the past 5 months, making it difficult to walk. Even something simple as fully straightening my leg was impossible for me. At the time, I heard that my condition may require open surgery, but I was ready to do whatever it took to get back to a normal life.

Arriving at HSS in the morning for surgery, I was NERVOUS - nervous about the pain, nervous that I would not be able to walk normally again, and nervous that the procedure would no go well in general. It was my first surgery after all, and my head was filled with gloom and doom. “Let’s get you fixed up,” said Dr. DiFelice. That’s exactly what he and physician assistant Robert O'Brien did. The surgery went exactly as they said it would. They were able to fix me up with two tiny incisions, and the only pain I experienced through the whole procedure was the needle for the IV. I’ve had bee stings that were more painful.

The day after, I was up and walking practically pain free. And even better, I could finally fully straighten my leg. This may sound like a small win, but after 5 months of not being able to do so, it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Yet, I was still nervous about the pending pain and soreness; I was told that the full pain would probably kick in 24-48 hours after surgery. OK, painkillers ready. But they weren't needed. The pain never happened. I actually felt better the day right after surgery than the days before, and things just got better and better, day after day.

It’s been 5 weeks. Now I’m playing tennis, cycling and hiking like nothing happened. Back to 100% and so thankful for Dr. DiFelice, Robert and everyone at HSS.