Section: Saint Barnabas Medical Center News

Robotic Knee Surgery Helps Verona Man Get Back On Track


Felice Carpenito enjoyed running so much that he often ran twice a day. But pounding the pavement for more than 20 years finally took its toll on the 75-year-old Verona resident.

A few years ago, Felice started experiencing excruciating “bone on bone” knee pain during his daily runs at Verona Park. After running, he often had sharp pain in his knee.

Felice dealt with the pain and tried to run through it. He sought medical treatment from local doctors who chalked up the pain to arthritis. Since he couldn’t find a doctor who was willing to perform knee surgery because “it wasn’t the right time,” Felice iced his knee regularly after running and received a series of cortisone shots which provided temporary relief at best.

Minimally Invasive Surgery
As his knee pain continued to get worse, Felice began feeling very discouraged and knew that he needed to seek another option. At the suggestion of friends, he turned to Michael Rieber, MD, an orthopaedic surgeon and joint replacement specialist with Saint Barnabas Medical Center.

After examining Felice, Dr. Rieber recommended Mako robotic-arm assisted partial knee replacement. This minimally invasive approach, available at Saint Barnabas for both total and partial knee replacement, utilizes surgeon-controlled robotic arm technology that enables precise alignment and placement of implants. The Mako System software also assists surgeons in pre-planning and treating patients, allowing for a customized approach with great benefits – smaller incisions, less pain and a quicker recovery.

The same-day surgery was a complete success. Shortly after, Felice underwent six weeks of physical therapy.

“After suffering for so long, I’m pain-free and able to be active again thanks to the excellent care I received at Saint Barnabas Medical Center,” says Felice. “The Mako partial knee replacement literally changed my life – I feel great!”

Pounding the Pavement Again
Today, Felice is back to his normal lifestyle and is thrilled to pound the pavement again, although now he’s sticking to walking rather than running. He logs in two to five miles daily during his morning and early evening walks at Verona Park. His repaired knee also gave him another immeasurable benefit. Before the surgery, he did his best keeping up with his two young grandchildren and now, he’s able to “chase” them around.

Learn more about robotic-arm assisted surgery for knee and hip replacement.

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