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Published on September 21, 2021

Randy Knecht

Getting Into Truck Isn’t a Pain After Hip and Knee Replacements

Randy Knecht, CEO of Journey Construction, can easily climb into and out of his pickup truck without pain, thanks to a knee replacement surgery and a hip replacement surgery performed by Travis Liddell, MD, orthopedic surgeon of Avera Orthopedics.

The journey to two total joint replacements began several years ago. Knecht, a dedicated long-distance runner, ripped cartilage in his knee during the Chicago Marathon in 2004.

He received surgery for his injury and was advised to wait before pursuing joint replacement. Unfortunately, as he continued running over the years, pain lingered in his knee, and his hip eventually developed painful arthritis.

Liddell discussed nonsurgical options along with the recommendation for total joint replacement. Knecht was ready to undergo both a hip and knee replacement.

“I tried cortisone injections, which offered temporary relief,” said Knecht. “I soon realized I needed a permanent solution and saw no downside to surgery.”

State-of-the-Art Surgery

Knecht’s surgeries occurred within six months of each other. Before either surgery, the joint was accurately measured so the right prothesis size was chosen for implantation.

During surgery, Liddell removed damaged cartilage while preserving as much of Knecht’s natural bone as possible. He then replaced the degenerative surfaces with medical-grade metal prostheses. These prostheses were placed without using any cement, but a special material called hydroxyapatite.

“Hydroxyapatite allows the bone to grow onto the back of the implants, creating a dynamic interface between the patient’s bone and implant,” said Liddell.

Advanced technology and devices allow a more comfortable fit and better outcome for the patient. In addition, minimally invasive surgeries, like the approaches Liddell used for Knecht, allow the patient to experience:

  • Smaller incisions
  • Less soft tissue damage to the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments
  • Possible decrease in post-surgery pain
  • Fewer post-surgery restrictions, supporting a faster recovery and return to activity

“One misconception I encounter is that people think a joint replacement might only last 10 to 15 years,” said Liddell. “Advances in technology, surgery and medical implants have improved to such a degree that a successful joint replacement could last 30 years or more.”

Physical Therapy Is Critical

Many years functioning on a bad joint will lead to developing bad habits, which is why physical therapy after joint replacement is so important.

“Without physical therapy, your new joint might become stiff and you won’t reach your potential in range of motion,” said Liddell. “You risk an unsatisfying outcome after surgery.”

Knecht faithfully kept up with his therapy exercises following both surgeries.

“Even today, about two years after surgery, I’ll occasionally do the recommended exercises to maintain my new joints,” said Knecht.

Active Life Following Total Joint Replacement Surgery

Today, Knecht says his quality of life has vastly improved and hasn’t encountered any limitations after surgery. He especially enjoys exercising without the pain.

“I think back to how much pain I endured doing simple things, like getting in and out of bed,” he said. “There’s no pain now.”

Knecht also described the bedside care delivered by Liddell and the rest of his team as “phenomenal.”

“If I had questions or concerns, I knew I could be seen right away,” he said.

If you are experiencing ongoing pain, you don’t have to live with it. Contact an Avera Orthopedics team near you to learn about your surgical and nonsurgical options regarding joint pain.

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