How Helen Got Her Quality of Life Back 

I wish I had done this sooner,” Helen Stakem says of her knee replacement surgeries.  “It was all a lot easier than I had imagined.”

Helen didn’t have to stretch her imagination very far, as she had been a patient of Dr Abidi’s in 2015 and again in 2016 when he gave her 2 new hips.

But gradually, knee pain was robbing Helen of her quality of life.  “I was no longer able to continue teaching Bellydance, or practicing Tai Chi Chuan, or going for walks or socializing last summer due to pain and immobility.”

Initially, she put off surgery because of concerns about the ongoing COVID pandemic, but her knee continued to degenerate, and Dr. Abidi was able to reassure her that she could have the surgery at the Capitola Surgery Center as an out-patient.  “GSOS and the surgical center informed me fully about every step of the process of my pre- and post-operative care, and my recovery at home, so everything could go smoothly.  Having previously experienced 2 total hip replacement surgeries we had no problem preparing for surgery and getting things ready at home for an easy and comfortable recovery,” she says.

“My appointments at Jade Street in person with Dr Abidi, Raymond Villaverde and all the team provided a great opportunity to talk about my concerns, have my questions answered face-to-face, giving me a sense of confidence in my ability to heal and walk again with their caring and efficiency. They were always encouraging and enlightening with their information.

“I did not do Prehab before my first knee replacement because of the very poor condition of the joint, but I attended a series of post-operative physiotherapy sessions until my other knee deteriorated, and surgery was necessary 3 months later.

“Having both knee surgeries has given me my life back as now I can walk without pain and difficulty. I feel very lucky to have had expert surgical treatment and excellent care both times.  With my extremely capable team of surgeons, attentive and skilled nursing care after the surgery, and helpful husband at home to take good care of me, I have made a very successful recovery and am feeling stronger and more agile with very little pain now. I was able to wean off the pain medications 3 weeks after surgery.

“I started physiotherapy sessions 2 weeks after my surgery and I was glad to be shown how to do the useful strengthening exercises properly, and I managed to obtain a good range of movement quite quickly by repeating the exercises regularly which were easy to follow in the Home Exercise Program notes provided.

“Two weeks after surgery I found myself busy weeding in the garden and only using a stick because I thought I should, not because I needed it. 6 weeks after surgery I can complete my Tai Chi practice without effort, and after 3 months I can run up and down a flight of stairs, something I haven’t been able to do without pain for years!

“I do highly recommend GSOS to everyone, and several of our friends and family have taken my advice!”