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New knee puts Saints’ new special teams coach Mike Westhoff back in the game

Mike Westhoff

Mike Westhoff, left, and Brad Banta, right, with coach Sean Payton against the Washington Redskins during a game in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017. (Photo by David Grunfeld, NOLA.com|TheTimes Picayune)

The successful outcome of his outpatient partial knee replacement by Dr. Robert J. Zehr, is the reason legendary NFL special teams coach Mike Westhoff could answer the New Orleans Saints’ call for help halfway through this football season.

“After having played football, coaching in the NFL, and having a TV show in NY, the last thing I thought I would be doing was returning to the NFL, with its physical demands,” Westhoff says in a note to the Naples orthopaedic surgeon. “Prior to my partial knee replacement, I would have had no chance to endure the physical challenge,” Westhoff remarks. “I am on my feet all day…and have had no problems.”

Zehr performed the partial knee replacement in May 2017, at Seaside Surgery Center, Southwest Florida’s only outpatient facility designed and built specifically for joint replacements, where he is CEO and Medical Director. Zehr used the Center’s Mako® Robotic Arm-Assisted Surgery system for the procedure. “This procedure and this facility were a perfect match for Mike,” says Dr. Zehr. “He is a healthy, active man, and was well-suited for same-day outpatient knee replacement. A few hours spent with us, here, has added years of pain-free mobility and enjoyment to his life. I think we’re all Saints fans now!”

Officially retired since 2012, Westhoff accepted the offer from New Orleans Saints Coach Sean Payton, telling ESPN’s Rich Crimini, “If I can solve a couple of problems, I’ll try to do it. It’s a good challenge. I don’t want to be the guy that regrets not having tried something. It made sense to me, so why not?”

Westhoff credits the surgery with Dr. Zehr for adding quality to his life, “He gave me an opportunity to explore a new challenge, and an exciting addition to my life. I am so very grateful.”