Edward Martin

My experience was great! Pretty straightforward. I came in with functional issues with both knees including limited range of motion, locking, swelling, catching, and of course pain. Dr. Shubin Stein really displayed confidence and led the way. I followed and all is well. I ended up having double knee surgery at the same time per her recommendation (meniscus repair on my right and meniscectomy on the left, where they removed about 40% of my meniscus). Before I knew what was going on, it was over and she was standing over me along with my wife. The PT was great. I did about 6 months of PT with Julie at HSS that gradually brought me back to true form. Every step was well monitored and I can’t be more happy with the results. Dr. Shubin Stein did not sugarcoat anything and told me exactly what was to be expected and it really was that. Any other sensations I felt, she knew from her clinical expertise and gave me sound advice. I’m at about 10 months post-op now and I feel better and more capable than I’ve been in 2 years. Dr. Shubin Stein says it will take about a year or so to feel near normal, but I am already feeling complete. I am back to all my regular activities with very little limitations and as a Martial Arts instructor having my knees back is everything!! I can jump, I can kneel, I can squat, I can sit on my knees, I can lunge, I can twist and pivot. I’m very pleased with my experience at HSS and the entire Team they have, they are truly the best.

adminEdward Martin
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Mirabelle Harris

When I came to HSS I had already had four knee surgeries at a local hospital near me in Boston. I originally shattered my kneecap and tore my MCL, MPFL as well as caused serious trauma to my knee as a whole. By the time I came for an evaluation at HSS my knee had dislocated four times and the cartilage was completely worn down. The orthopedic surgeon that had previously worked on me had done everything he knew how to in order to repair my knee. However, the dislocations continued even with multiple TTO’s ligament replacements, and the original kneecap reconstruction. I came to this hospital with very little hope remaining and after my visit with Dr. Shubin Stein I left with much more hope in my future. Not only did she test for countless conditions that could have been the possible cause for my continuous dislocations, but she was determined to fix it and was confident that she could. It was a vigorous surgery and the recovery was even more intense however, after my fifth surgery here my knee stopped dislocating. I continued to visit and Dr. Shubin Stein never stopped caring and working with me to get my knee back to as much function as possible. Going into the surgery I was told I would only have about 90 degrees of flexion within my knee and yet, as I write this today I solidly have 120 degrees. Although I am still in the recovery process and am working back up to playing lacrosse and soccer like I used to I am able to run again and do everyday activities without feeling restrained by my knee. I tried out for a crew team in the spring, made the team, and got to participate in the incredible sport for the season. I owe everything to this hospital and Dr. Shubin Stein to getting me where I am today and for helping me return to being an athlete once again!

adminMirabelle Harris
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Thomas Guardino

When my experience with Hospital for Special Surgery first began, I was in a poor position mentally and physically, and my outlook on things weren’t the best. I had been competitively playing soccer in the Tri-State area since I was four-years-old. My soccer career included playing competitively in the highest division of the Monmouth and Ocean County  (NJ) Soccer Association (MOSA) with the Brick Sharks. From there I played up a year on the Twin County Titans where we climbed to the top of the Mid-Atlantic Premier Soccer league from 2008- 2010. During this time, I was receiving training from elite coaches and trainers, using my older brother as the connection. Such training included private skills sessions with the head coach of Monmouth University. I often attended training sessions and tournaments under his supervision. This helped build my skills and confidence to try out and ultimately make a series of different select teams that drew from the top players in the Tri-State area.

My career continued to the Freehold Storm, returning back to my age on an elite team that was actively competing in premier soccer tournaments along the East Coast of the United States. On this team, I began to experience incredibly painful patellar dislocations to my right knee and eventually on my left as well. Between the spring of 2011 and the spring of 2014, I had experienced 11 patellar dislocations, 8 to my right and 3 to my left knee, each accompanied by a sometimes severe tear in the medial patellar-femoral ligament (MPFL). With this, my dreams of playing competitively in college were crushed as it was time to hang up the cleats for good. At the time, my career at my high school, Christian Brothers Academy, was bright, hopeful, and cut short. As a freshman, I was being seriously considered for the varsity team, an accomplishment only five players in school history have achieved. My chance and placement in school history as the sixth was taken away due to a dislocation during the tryouts. I missed most of that season and went on to play an important leadership role on the varsity team as the starting center midfielder. As only a sophomore, my ability caught the attention of reporters for elite high school sports and I was noticed by competing teams to watch out for. From my high school play, I began to look forward to playing for top division schools in the United States. I was most proud of interest from the University of Virginia, Princeton University, and Monmouth University. Due to further complications, my career was over, and my chances for Division I soccer were shattered.

My knees were in such bad shape that one of the dislocations happened while I was taking a step from grass to concrete, nowhere near a soccer field or the sport. I was told by a local physician that there was a talented surgeon in Manhattan that specializes in knee surgeries, including the operation I was to be receiving. Taking his advice, I had met with Dr. Beth Shubin Stein, someone who would ultimately change my life. When I first met with her, she was welcoming and allowed me to feel comfortable immediately. She knew I was scared and hurting and was quick to ease my nerves. At this time, I was looking for a medical operation to restore a normal lifestyle. I had given up on soccer because it was the reason I was in pain.

Due to a shallow femoral groove caused by improper growth and formation from birth, I had a high-riding patella, prone to dislocation due to my bone structure. The strong muscle contractions that are caused by kicking a soccer ball are enough to pull the knee cap from the socket towards the outside, exactly what happened 11 times. I no longer wanted to play soccer, I just want to be a kid again. I wanted to be able to ride my skateboard again. I wanted to be able to actually play street basketball or football instead of watching from the side, terrified that playing would lead to an excruciating dislocation. Without even thinking, Dr. Shubin Stein told me that I would be back on the soccer field playing without knee braces or worries in about a year. I couldn’t believe that. It was above and beyond any expectation I had.

In Dr. Shubin Stein’s office, she calmly inspected my knee and used X-rays and MRI screenings to determine an operation was necessary. She was the one who taught me about my obscure bone structure. She proposed a position in her case study, which would ultimately decide what type of surgery I would receive. She explained that so many people in my position were receiving a major operation revolving around the bone structure, like a tibial tubercle transfer operation, that were often unsuccessful and included incredibly painful recoveries. She suggested a study to investigate if patients eligible for the major operations could have more success with a ligament operation. As a result, I underwent two MPFL operations in the same year–my right knee in March of 2014, the left ifive months later.

The experience I had at at the Hospital for Special Surgery, with Dr. Shubin Stein, was absolutely incredible. In my office visits, she was always professional and friendly. She made me feel like I wasn’t just another case for her. She built a personal connection with both myself and my father, and it is always a pleasure to see her. Office visits were more fun and beneficial trips to the city rather than dreaded doctor’s office visits. She was always informative and helpful with any questions, and encouraged me to contact them at any time throughout the recovery. Her team, including Amy, the Physician Assistant, and everyone on the nursing and operating staff were flawless. They helped me feel safe and comfortable and as pain-free as possible before, during, and after the operation. They were always there to help and constantly checked in on me.

The overall experience had an overwhelming effect on me. Two years later, I feel great. I am an active individual who loves to skateboard and play basketball with friends. I exercise and stay active as often as I can because it is what I love. This experience changed my life. It gave me back the opportunity to be active and happy. It made me an even better version of myself than I ever was. This experience gave me direction and purpose. Due to the overwhelming effect Dr. Shubin Stein had on my life, it inspired me to pursue a career in orthopedic surgery. I long to be able to give back the feeling of having your life back to someone just like me. I want to be able to help athletes return to their sport, because I know personally how it feels to have what you love ripped away. I long to be in the position to help someone, just like Dr. Shubin Stein and everyone at the Hospital for Special Surgery.

Beth Shubin SteinThomas Guardino
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