Undergoing major surgery may be stressful. Preparing for the first major surgery of your life? That might add a whole new level of anxiety. Well, maybe for most people. Not Jennie Iozzi.
Let’s rewind to September 2018. After several years of worsening right knee osteoarthritis, then 82-year-old Jennie visited William Abraham, MD, a Tri Rivers orthopedic hip and knee surgeon. Jennie shared her symptoms – leg heaviness, inability to stoop or squat and trouble sleeping were just a few. Dr. Abraham talked through Jennie’s options, and the two parties agreed that, for the time being, they’d maximize conservative treatment methods. But the last-ditch effort wasn’t generating results, and Jennie realized surgery was unavoidable.
“I tried to talk myself out of surgery, thinking I’d just do my therapy and exercise and it would get better,” Jennie said. “But as time went on, it became more and more painful. I felt like I wasn’t even walking correctly.
“If you need it, there’s no way around it. I thought I could disguise it somehow, but you can’t keep fooling yourself. You don’t want to hold yourself back from enjoying your time."
Dr. Abraham – together with Tim Heusey, PA-C – performed total knee replacement on Jennie’s right knee in January 2019. Jennie was a little apprehensive prior to the procedure, especially when it came to the anesthesia. However, only minutes after entering UPMC Passavant the day of her surgery, Jennie felt right at home.
“Your life is in their hands, so you want to go through it with confidence,” Jennie said. “As soon as I got there that day and met the Tri Rivers team, all of my fears disappeared. I wasn’t frightened. I felt at peace with it.”
Dr. Abraham said Jennie was a pleasure to have as a patient throughout the entire journey.
“I was very impressed with Jennie’s positive mindset,” he said. “She was able to overcome every obstacle she faced. It’s been great to care for her during this process.”
Along the way, Dr. Abraham’s patience and calm demeanor really stood out to Jennie.
“He doesn’t rush you with anything,” she said. “When you’re ready, he’s ready.”
Nowadays, whether she’s out and about or doing chores at home, it’s safe to say Jennie is enjoying her time once again.
“Sometimes I get together with family or friends on weekends, and if we’re walking around, now I can keep pace with them,” she said. “It used to be a big chore to go shopping with friends or out to dinner, but now it’s pleasant.”
Thanks to Dr. Abraham and the Tri Rivers staff, Jennie’s right knee is good as new. However, her chronic left knee pain has caused Jennie just as much stress as her right knee did for all those years.
“Hopefully I’ll be able to get that one done soon,” she said.
With Dr. Abraham and Tri Rivers?
“Oh, absolutely. Nobody else.”