Patient Advocate: Eliot Tawil

Eliot Tawil

Patient Advocate

Brooklyn native Eliot Tawil’s love of baskeball began at a young age – he would stay out on the court for hours, sometimes four or five days a week. Over the years, all of this activity caused a lot of wear and tear on his knees to the point that Eliot underwent six knee surgeries before the time he was 50 years old. When his pain became so unbearable that the simple act of getting out of the car was difficult, Eliot spoke with his surgeon Dr. José Rodriguez about another solution for bilateral knee replacement recovery with customized Conformis technology.

Q: When did you have your surgery?

A: I had my surgery in December of 2015.

Q: What made you decide to get knee replacement surgery?

A: That’s a great question. I had been trying to put off surgery for 7-10 years prior, meaning that I tried everything under the sun to ease the pain and to avoid the inevitable. I went to Dr. José Rodriguez and he looked at my scans and he said, “You have no choice. It’s either suffer or surgery.” Now I thought 52 was a little bit young and I was trying to convince him, negotiate with him to not do surgery. He said, “Okay. No problem. Suffer.” I said, “No, I don’t wanna suffer.” It took me about 15 seconds when he said surgery is a must to actually choose the path of surgery. Choosing Conformis – that was even quicker. So I said okay, let’s go.

Q: What was recovery like?

A: Being the competitive type I challenged myself to get out fast. After surgery, you want to get to the level where you have tremendous flexion of your knees and to do that requires a lot of work. It was probably three weeks after surgery that I was able to jump on these step boxes. First a 12-inch step box on my 3rd week and then an 18-inch step box and then a 24-inch step box. Vertical leap up, which gave me that real strong relief that, wow, this is incredible. I wasn’t able to do that prior to my surgery.

Q: What are you doing now that you've had your knee replacement?

A: I can play basketball again with my son Harry – he’s 6’4″ and puts me to shame on the court, but at least I can give him a go. I’ve also taken up golf – which is the most frustrating sport I have ever tried in my life – and I’m able to play with my 4 beautiful grandchildren.


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Jack, a high school and collegiate athlete, had both knees replaced in 2012. Recently, he earned his Fitbit Japan badge for walking 1,869 miles, the length of Japan.

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Eliot had many knee procedures to help recover from years of wear and tear playing basketball. Finally, he had both knees replaced with Conformis implants.

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Harald Harb

Harald is a ski instructor and retired professional skier who was back on the slopes 3 months after having his total knee replacement in 2015.

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