For the past five years, Robert Grewe was accustomed to pushing his own pain aside to help others. But when his daily knee pain started getting in the way of his jobs, he knew it was time to do something.

A native of Winnipeg, Canada, Robert Grewe and his wife came to Washington, PA nine years ago to be a pastor at First Lutheran Church. He has also volunteered as the chaplain for South Strabane Volunteer Fire Department for the past six years. In his role as the chaplain, Grewe rides along in the truck to calls, helping with the spiritual needs of the firefighters at the scenes of fires and other accidents.

Mr. Grewe also works at the Washington County Sheriff’s office, assisting with the spiritual needs of the officers and deputies. He says that his experience in the Royal Canadian Navy has helped him understand the emotions of people who may be accustomed to “toughing it out” and not showing their emotions.

Mr. Grewe found out that “toughing it out” isn’t a good way to deal with emotional or physical pain. Over thirty years ago, he tore his ACL because of a sports injury. He had surgery to repair the tear, but over the decades he started to lose mobility and eventually the pain and swelling caused him to lose his ability to walk on the leg. He knew it was time to get help so that he could continue to support others.

Help came in the form of Dr. Donald Ravasio. Dr. Ravasio brought his expertise in same-day joint replacement surgery to WHS. Advancement in technology and pain management has made it possible for many patients to get their joint replaced and go home the same day.

“The benefits of same day joint replacements (hips, knees, shoulders) are profound,” says Dr. Ravasio. Patients don’t need to be hospitalized or catheterized, which diminishes the risk for infection.

“Patients actively recover—they are up and participating in physical therapy literally 90 minutes after their surgery is completed,” he says. His patients are often home by dinner time.

“Dr. Ravasio is a blessing from God!” says Grewe. He felt a connection with the orthopedic surgeon because of their shared military experience. He appreciated the doctor’s honesty and his sense of humor. Dr. Ravasio and his team answered all his questions without hesitation.

On the morning of Grewe’s surgery, he was greeted warmly by the staff at the hospital. They made sure that he understood the procedure, answered any last questions, and made him comfortable. Dr. Ravasio opted for general anesthesia with a nerve blocker for the knee. The surgery was performed seamlessly.

Following surgery, Grewe was led to the hospital’s occupational therapy unit to learn how to perform various tasks as he recovered from surgery. The therapy team showed him how to climb stairs, get into and out of a car and bed. Just weeks later, Grewe is walking and climbing stairs unassisted.

“Considering I am only 31 days since my operation and can go hours without any pain is something I haven’t felt for 5 years,” says Grewe. Grewe’s recovery and diminished pain benefits not only him, but also his community.

“I was so worried that I would have to step down as chaplain from the fire department and from the sheriff’s office,” says Grewe. Now he is looking forward to many more years of serving his church and his community.

“I look forward to getting back on the trucks, leading worship and being able to walk up all those steps to the sheriff’s office again,” he says.

For more info on same day joint replacements – call an set up an appointment with one of our orthopedic providers at 724.206.0610