Patient Testimonials - Orthopedics

Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Hamilton

Dear Dr. Duch, I want to thank you for a successful operation and recovery, when I compare it to my experience with my right knee surgery which was done in India a year back. I was in the ICU for a few days there due to a fear of clots and took me nearly 2 to 3 months to achieve the progress I have made in the last 15 days with you.

I was upset when my surgery was postponed in June due to the A1C being higher than 8.0. I thought this would be a prolonged surgery delay and I took it as a major setback as I was in a lot of pain and unsure what would help me with my A1C reduction. However, introducing me to Dietician, Dr. Shesha Desai, was a game and a lifestyle changer. She really helped with my food intake, exercise and gave me mental strength to take the A1C reduction as a challenge and the result was a dramatic reduction in A1C.

Prior to the surgery, your anesthesiologist challenged me that this surgery would be a success, and compared to India, it would be a remarkable difference. I have to agree and thank him for his confidence, the result speaks for itself.

My family was quite apprehensive post India experience, but when I was able to stand up on Day 1 and walk on Day 2 prior to my discharge, my family was stunned. I had a lot of help from my extended family who were with me during the first 15 days, and most of them were sitting idle not sure what to do as the recovery was remarkable.

I am now able to walk and take care of myself and thanks to the home PT Team, another positive experience.

It takes a team to make this happen, but your leadership and getting me the right team to help me get through the challenge has been key to my success and where I am today.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

–Hema Malini Mahadevan

Dwight LewisDear Dr. Duch, you may have forgotten me by now but every time I stand up, walk, cycle, ski or climb stairs (even two at a time), I give thanks for your skills. I am now closing on 3,000 miles so far this year on my bicycle.

My TKR was September 15, 2022, and I started PT on September 21, 2022. By January of 2023, I was riding a bike for a 50-mile ride around Cozumel. I felt it was only appropriate to once again, after the first year, tell you how fantastic the process has been for me. It’s life-changing.

You had mentioned there may be residual swelling for up to a year, and so I’ve continued to exercise my knee to eke out any more possible degrees in range of motion. I could not be happier as my range of motion if just shy of the range of motion on my right knee. I am guessing I have gotten the left to within 3-5 degrees of right knee. How cool is that!

I want to thank the OSI Team, the operating room ream I met for a few seconds before the anesthesiologist did her work, the nursing staff from pre-op to post-op, and many more. I thank the Rehab Team at Hamilton—a cheerful group committing miracles with people.

I totally made the right decision to seek out Dr. Michael Duch, who had taken care of me earlier through cortisone and gel series shots. His personality, competence, explanations, and finally surgery, the best. And I had to coax the nurse at a pre-operative session to give me a couple names of the PT people. I told her I had high expectations for recovery. Bonnie on the rehab team was assigned to my rehab and I was told she is pretty assertive, and not for everyone. Fine by me. She took me from September 21 to December 23, 2022, and the progression toward range of motion, strength, and balance—got it all.

To assure you, I tell people of my excellent experience and of those people who made it so.

I consider myself a 70-years old “poster child” for your excellence.

Thank you so much for your work.

–Dwight A. Lewis

If anyone out there is in need of spinal surgery, I absolutely recommend Dr. Marc Levine at RWJ Barnabas in Hamilton. The intense nerve pain that I had been dealing with since February was because the disc had basically completely deteriorated away. There was about a millimeter of space between the C7 and T1 causing compression of the nerve. Within moments of waking up after the surgery I could already tell the surgery was a success. I spent the last month in a neck brace, taking it really easy and by week three I could tell I was going to make a full recovery.

On top of being a great surgeon, he is also a great person. Six days before the surgery date, my insurance company got back with only a partial approval. Dr. Levine, realizing the surgery date couldn’t be pushed back, and there was no time to go back-and-forth with the insurance company, decided he would just not bill me for that portion!

–Frank DiGiovanni

As an active duty member of the Air Force I am very pleased to have Dr Duch and his team on my side. I jokingly say I hate that I have to come here because it means I’m broken, but I love that it’s them that’s fixing me. Very knowledgeable on what’s wrong and genuinely caring. Highly recommend.

–Grateful Patient

I met Dr Duch about 6 years ago when my knee initially started hurting after a very long conference/trade show in high heels. He gave me a cortisone shot and a physical therapy prescription and I was back to normal in no time. 6 years later.... This summer (2022) my knee began to hurt again (concrete floors + restaurant ownership will do that to you). I found out that Dr Duch was no longer at his previous practice (the mega Ortho practice in Philly/South Jersey). I saw a different doctor and he told me I have the knees of an 80 year old and insisted my right knee was worse than my left knee based on an X-ray (I have no pain in my right knee). He gave me cortisone shots and a prescription for an MRI. The cortisone did NOT work - I was in the same level of pain a couple days later. Trying to schedule the MRI was just as painful, their back office insisted I didn't need pre-approval, my insurance company insisted I did... I don't have spare time to deal with incompetence, I was still in pain - literally going down steps, one step at a time. I gave up on the ""Mega"" Ortho practice and hunted down Dr Duch - and found he was now at Robert Wood Johnson Barnabas Hospital (RWJBH) in Hamilton, NJ. I quickly booked an appointment (bought a cd-rom of my current X-rays from the other practice) and a month later was in a patient room. Dr Duch hadn't changed a bit, he's super chill with a very casual bedside manner - no-doctor's coat, tie or dockers' khakis. He's a Nike performance shirt + jeans kind of guy, roll-up his sleeves and lets get to work. Dr Duch does magic with cortisone - no shot injection pain and boom works instantly. I'm running up and down stairs 1-day later. He also told me my knees are a 2 out of 5 on a severity scale - not the knees of an 80 year old (I'm only 40). He still wants me to get an MRI to ensure nothing else nefarious is going on. The front office staff told me directly that my insurance required a pre-approval without me even saying anything to them and they would call for approval on Monday. That's my personal endorsement of a wonderful Ortho doctor. The RWJBH office may not be as plush or decorated with fancy wood moulding, but Dr Duch is a miracle worker.

–Christine Z.

Dr. Levine is a great surgeon. And his staff is great too. He listened to me about my back pain and he ran test and then he did my back surgery. I highly recommend him and his staff. Thank you Dr. Levine and your staff.

–Margie G.

Excellent, Excellent, Excellent work, hands down. THANK YOU, Sir....

–Gregory P.

Great hands and great personality. Son’s surgery went smoothly and we now only recommend Dr. Levine to all our family and friends. He is very patient, professional, kind and caring.

–Dina H.

Had spinal fusion. Everything went well. Very informative and listens to what you say and ask. Would definitely recommend him to anyone needing to find a spine expert.

–Rosemarie S.

I had my knees replaced 11 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I’ve been seeing Mike Duch for 15 years for other things wrong with myself, and I would not go to anyone else.

–William R.

Dr. Levine is an excellent professional. He is so charismatic and kind. Before meeting him, my life was chaos due to the pain that I was in. Dr. Levine was effective and immediately diagnosed me and we embarked on the journey to get rid of pain. I recommend Dr. Levine, absolutely! Dr. Levine is an excellent Professional, an outstanding doctor! Before discovering it, my life was in chaos with the terrible pain I felt. Dr. Levine is effective, he immediately diagnosed me and we embarked on the process to ease the pain. I absolutely recommend it!

–Hortencia C.

I had successful ACDF surgery performed by Dr. Levine a year ago. I saw him today for my one year appointment. He is professional, caring, and willing to answer all of your questions.

–Joan P.

Great physician, location and staff.

–Sherry B.

Dr. Duch is very compassionate and professional. I was in a car accident with very severe injuries including broken and shattered bones in both legs, both wrists, facial fractures and vertebrae fractures. Thanks to his immediate care and surgeries, I am alive and was able to walk again and have a normal life. I am forever thankful. Thanks Dr. Duch!

–A. H.

I was she dialed for hip surgery at a very reputable place but I was a number just another person. Dr Duch spent over 30 min with me had a very long discussion about my hip and our families. I have never felt so comfortable with a Dr. He got me scheduled with in 2.5 weeks to fix me. I have read reviews that he has no bed side manner well I did not see that at all. His staff is very accommodating and polite. All I have to say is opinions are like --- ----- everyone has one. He is so nice and knowledgeable and although I'm nervous about the surgery he assures me I will be fine. Update to follow.

–Debra C.

Dr Levine is patient, knowledgeable and very caring in his handling of my procedures.

–Ron M.

Great job replacing both my hips. Didn’t make me go through more useless procedures. He knew they needed to be replaced and I was scheduled quickly and was out of pain immediately after surgery. Honestly, his work was completely life changing. I can walk again. Thank you, Dr. Duch!

–Nika W.

My husband John had a total knee replacement on Feb. 2. His experience with appointments, scheduling, testing, admittance, surgery, his stay, and discharge was flawless. The hospital staff was extremely attentive. (The cafeteria's pot roast- excellent!) We would go to no one other than Dr. Michael Duch (RWJUH Hamilton Orthopedic & Spine Institute) for our family's orthopedic needs. The staff of the O & S Institute has always been professional and courteous. The communication system (text and email) is very good. There are consistent reminders to check-in, appointments, and other necessary information. I would advise patients to avail themselves of the RWJ Patient Portal.

–Grateful Patient

I recently had a full knee replacement surgery and the whole ortho staff was top notch. Dr Schnell was fantastic. My nurses Allison and Denise Berdecia went above and beyond. Also the rehab department Nicole, Courtney , and Brenna were great. Highly recommend RWJ at Hamilton Ortho Dept.

–Grateful Patient

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