Open Accessibility Menu

Joint Replacement Patient Stories

Richard S’s Story

Richard S has a knack for fixing things, but his knees limited his ability to work his magic. That’s when he went to Saint Clare’s Center for Joint replacement in Denville. Orthopedic surgeon, Frank Capecci, and physical therapist, Michael McHugh, and the entire joint replacement team, guided Richard through the entire process from pre-operative classes and exercises to surgery and post-surgery therapy. Richard was back walking in one day, pain free and back to some renovations of his own.

Angelo's Story

Angelo portrait

My name is Angelo Q. Up until 2017, I had never needed any serious medical treatment, save for some stitches. In November of 2016, I was diagnosed as having bone on bone osteoarthritis in both my right and left hips. I was extremely fortunate to have gone to Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. Thanks to Dr. Steven Stecker I received the best possible care and treatment. Dr. Stecker told me that there was no magic pill. I was at the stage where only hip replacement would eliminate the pain and lack of mobility. He did not force surgery on me. Instead, he told me that I would know when I was ready. In January of 2017 my quality of life was very poor. I decided to opt for surgery on my right hip. I was lucky in that there was a cancellation and was able to schedule surgery for February 13, 2017. There were no complications. The surgery went well and I was able to start my recovery. For two and a half days the staff at Saint Clare’s was absolutely wonderful. The nursing staff checked on me, the therapists worked with me diligently during my stay at Saint Clare’s. I left to go to rehab at JDT in Lincoln Park for a week. After that I continued outpatient physical therapy. I am proud to say that my surgery was on February 13, 2017 and I played golf by the 2nd week of May in 2017. Without Dr. Stecker and the caring staff at Saint Clare’s none of that would have been possible.

In January of 2019, I decided that my left hip had finally gotten the better of me. Dealing with the same pain and lack of life quality, I was scheduled for surgery to replace my left hip on January 14, 2019. Even though two years had passed, Saint Clare’s still provided me with absolutely wonderful care. Dr. Stecker gave me my new hip and I began the process of healing. As I write this on March 25, 2019, I am currently back walking 5 miles each day. I will be playing golf within two weeks.

My quality of life is back to what I want it to be. I am forever grateful to Dr. Stecker and Saint Clare’s Hospital. Without their combined efforts, I would still be in pain and not enjoying the greater part of life. I am proud to say that my surgery took place at Saint Clare’s Denville Hospital. God bless all of the wonderful staff that watched over me during my stay.

Thank you Dr. Stecker and Saint Clare’s.

Trudy W’s Story

Trudy Portrait

I had knee surgery. The entire process was a positive experience. I was very athletic before my knee condition, so I have a high standard for myself and wanted to get back to that level. Dr. Capecci is my physician and he is one of the most caring physicians. He listened to me and just explained the process to me. He is just wonderful.

Dr. Capecci gave me the choice to have my surgery at Saint Clare’s or in Morristown. I had gone to many of Saint Clare’s senior programs. The programs and Wendy Long, the program coordinator, were just wonderful so I decided to go to Saint Clare’s.

Along the way, I met all the people that I would encounter during my time at Saint Clare’s, including Fran, the orthopedic educator. I was very happy and surprised throughout this process. Saint Clare’s was such a warm place to be. Staff members explained how Saint Clare’s prides itself on being a community based and caring hospital. Staff care about the patient personally. I also noticed the food was good and the environment was clean.

After surgery, I chose Saint Clare’s for physical therapy. The staff was wonderful and very professional. Floriza was caring and experienced, and made physical therapy a wonderful experience.

I can’t say enough good about Saint Clare’s. No matter where I went before, during and after surgery, people were helpful and forthcoming. When my mother was alive, she was a patient at Saint Clare’s as well and it was wonderful then.

Trudy and nurses

Richard R’s Story

Richard R portraitI had worked in the orthopedic sales business for more than 10 years so I was very knowledgeable on the physicians in the area as well as the area hospitals. In 2009, Dr. Frank Capecci performed my left hip replacement at Saint Clare’s Denville. I had great results and the people were wonderful. It was the best nursing staff in the area.

As time went on, I was diagnosed with osteoarthritis. I had always been active and I served in the United States Army, but overuse had taken its toll. I wanted to try other measures besides surgery to reduce the pain so I did pain management for three years, including gel shots. But, in 2018, I decided I needed surgery.

On December 3, 2018, I underwent knee replacement at Saint Clare’s Denville. Everything went well and I was in the hospital for two days. I did the in-house physical therapy and met all the requirements to go home. I loved the nurses and they were a great group of people. I had never really been sick or had any major surgeries so this was a different experience for me, and the nurses and therapists paid attention to me and supported me as much or as little as I needed them to. Dr. Capecci had a wonderful bedside manner and always takes time with his patients.

Nancy’s Story

Nancy and husband portraitMy knee issues began almost 10 years ago, with a small injury that led to swelling that never went away. I managed to ignore the increasing limping but by 2014, the pain and discomfort progressed to the point where I couldn’t walk any distance at all. I finally made an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon, who diagnosed “bone on bone arthritis.” I began treatment with a series of three shots of a synthetic lubricant, which worked for only a couple of months. When the pain returned, my doctor prescribed physical therapy. This helped a lot, but after a few months, I stopped physical therapy and put working on my health on the “back burner”. During this time, my knee got worse, and so did the limping.

After my husband had his first hip replacement in February of 2017, I had to drive him to PT, so I decided to resume my own physical therapy. I had waited too long. It helped, but the damage had been done, my arthritis had progressed to the point where my gait was impaired and my knee was getting worse, not better. My physical therapist advised me to return to an orthopedic, but I put it off, still wanting to avoid surgery.

In November of 2017, I had a sudden sharp pain in my knee, and couldn’t straighten my leg or walk without crutches. I was able to get an appointment at the group my husband went to, Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. After an MRI, I was told I had a torn meniscus. Surgery to remove the torn pieces was scheduled, but a newly discovered heart issue put that on hold. With the help of more physical therapy and anti-inflammatory medicine, I was able to straighten my leg and walk without crutches, but it was obvious that Total Knee Replacement was in my future sooner rather than later. I tried one more alternative, seeing a doctor who does cartilage replacement. He confirmed what my previous doctors and my PT told me, that TKR was my best option. I returned to Dr. Stecker to make the appointment for that summer.

Attending the pre-op classes with Fran were extremely helpful. My husband and I both used the “hip kit” that she suggested, and I have recommended the devices to others. I spent the summer months before surgery preparing by doing strengthening exercises, as recommended in the class.

I went into the hospital expecting the worst and it was so much better than I expected. The St. Clare’s staffers were very kind and helped me get through those first few days.

The surgery improved my walking and the severe pain I experienced before surgery was gone. After the initial healing period, even my worst day post-surgery is better than my days pre-surgery. Before, every step was wearing away and making my knee worse; after, every step is making me stronger.

I really began to feel normal within five months, and was able to begin babysitting my first grandchild at seven months post-op.

I have referred several friends and acquaintances to Dr. Stecker at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey. One friend said her doctor called him a “best kept secret around”. I feel the same way about St. Clare’s. When my father was taken to St. Clare’s in Dover, I was surprised and very pleased to see what a nice facility that is, too. My family has been going to St. Clare’s in Denville almost all my life. Both my brothers and both my children were born there. In happy times, painful times, sad times, and especially (during visits to the ER) in scary times, the staff has always been kind and helpful.

Learn more about the Center for Joint Replacement

Register for a joint replacement seminar