Knee Replacement patient plays with his grandkids

From ‘Grumpa’ to ‘Pa’ All Thanks to a New Knee

Orthopaedics, All Patient Stories
Fred Cybulski admits he was a bit of a grump before his partial knee replacement. The 59-year-old’s knee pain was so bad he was becoming a couch potato after long work days and on the weekends. What he’s learned since having his knee surgery performed by Bayhealth Orthopaedic Surgeon Trinity Pilkington, MD, is that he didn’t need to live with knee pain for so long. “I went from my family calling me ‘Grumpa’ to ‘Pa’ and it’s all thanks to Bayhealth and my new knee,” said Cybulski.

As a regional healthcare leader, Bayhealth offers total knee replacement surgery and partial knee replacement surgery on an outpatient basis at Bayhealth Kent and Sussex campuses. This means patients can recuperate and relax in the comfort of their own homes, with telehealth visits by their care team. Typically, patients who have a knee replacement surgery stay in the hospital for at least one night before being sent home. Bayhealth now offers outpatient knee replacement for certain patients. Driven to deliver the highest standards of quality and safety – there have been zero readmissions for outpatient knee replacement surgery cases. 

“I’m on my feet eight hours a day on concrete. All I wanted to do was go home and sit down. I didn’t want to do whatever I didn’t have to do,” said Cybulski. He’s a service technician who repairs vending machines. “There’s a lot of pulling and pushing, bending inside, and climbing on top of the machines,” and it’s something he’s done for 27 years. 

Cybulski admits that he was putting off knee replacement surgery in favor of other short-term fixes. “Dr. Pilkington didn’t rush me into anything,” he said. They tried both Cortisone and gel injections to ward off the pain. It got to the point that it was clear knee replacement surgery was needed. “It was all in my timing,” said Cybulski.

“I’m driven to offer the highest quality, safest, and most personalized approaches to my patients’ needs,” said Dr. Pilkington. He sees patients at the Bayhealth Sussex Campus – recently named a Top Hospital in the nation by Leapfrog for quality and safety. “Fred was in pain and needed surgery to give him a better quality of life. I was happy to help him get back to doing what he loves – playing with his grandkids.” 

When Cybulski arrived at the Bayhealth Outpatient Center, Sussex Campus, in early January for his left partial knee replacement surgery, he was greeted by a care team who immediately made him feel at ease. “You know when someone cares and when they don’t,” he said. “Everyone cared.” 

With COVID-19 visitor restrictions in place at the time, Cybulski’s wife received timely text messages and phone calls from the nursing team – and a call from Dr. Pilkington – to ease her mind. “It was amazing that my wife was notified via text and phone calls every step of the way. That put her at ease, and it took worry off her and me.” With so much positive feedback about the text messaging system, it will remain in place even when visitor restrictions shift. 

In for surgery that morning and out by the afternoon, Cybulski was up and walking – while the nurses and therapy team cheered him on. At home that same evening, Cybulski was on a fast road to recovery. 

Since having his partial knee replacement surgery, Cybulski said his pain is gone, but he does experience some stiffness from time-to-time if he stays in one place for too long. It’s something that can take up to a year to work itself out. “I’m no longer hindering my family,” said Cybulski who finds much joy in being able to play with his grandkids every evening after work. 

“We are so happy to have Fred back actively moving like he did before, and we owe that success to his new knee and Dr. Pilkington,” said Jodie Cybulski.  

If you’re experiencing knee pain that can’t be managed, your knees hurt even when you’re resting, and when your day-to-day life is affected, it may be time to consider knee replacement surgery. 

Visit Bayhealth.org/Orthopaedics to learn about the conditions we treat and our innovative approach to surgery.