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Tom Tuttle

Maywood, NJ

My arthritis developed slowly over the last 4 years until it reached a point where I couldn’t walk more than a block before I had to stop and breathe due to the pain. During those 4 years I tried all the conventional treatments: NSAIDS, almost a year of physical therapy, and 2 rounds of hyaluronic acid viscosupplement injections. After the second round of injections it was clear to me that I needed a TKR. My daughter had surgery at HSS a few years ago and I so impressed with the level of professionalism and how the entire staff truly cared for her that I decided if I ever needed “Special Surgery” that I was going to HSS.

Upon arriving home after my 3rd and last injection for my knee, which at this point had only shown minor improvement, I started browsing the HSS website for an orthopedic surgeon. I was impressed when I read through Dr. Westrich’s bio that outlined his background in engineering and a large focus on research. This sounded like a great combination. Dr. Westrich’s office staff was very helpful in securing an appointment promptly and to verify the insurance coverage. I was already feeling relieved that I finally had a solution for my knee. My initial office visit went extremely well. Dr. Westrich and his very competent physician assistant Heather Struhl explained the procedure and thoroughly answered every question I had. Dr. Westrich assured me that I’d be “Back in the Game” again.

The surgery was what I expected. The staff is wonderful. My recovery started the evening of my surgery when the physical therapist appeared at my bed and asked, “Do you want to go for a walk?” It’s a great feeling to be able to get up and using the walker go down the hallway only hours after your surgery.

My recovery is going very well. I started off physical therapy going 3 times a week for almost 2 hours a visit. At my initial visit and assessment with my physical therapist I told him I didn’t just want to be back to where I was before the surgery, I wanted to go back 4 years to when the arthritis started. I gave up the cane at 3 weeks. It’s clear to me that the amount of improvement you’ll see is equal to how committed you are to your therapy - not only in the facility but also at home.

It’s now been 8 weeks since my surgery. We spent the past weekend at Newport, RI where we walked around town and climbed 84 steps to the top floor of one of the mansions. I’m still going to PT twice a week having regained almost all my prior strength. It’s a wonderful feeling waking up in the morning and not dreading getting out of bed and facing the pain of standing up. Many thanks to Dr. Westrich and his staff along with the fantastic team at HSS for getting me “Back in the Game”!