November 15, 2007
Back to Hauling Hay for Scotland County Farmer After Two Successful Knee Replacement Surgeries
For Joseph "Orville" Steele, farming was the only life he had ever really known. Aside from two years of service in the military, Steele spent his entire life farming cattle and hay. This was a lifestyle that required a great deal of physical labor, which Steele loved and embraced.
Twenty years ago, however, things began to get a little difficult for this hard working man. He began to notice little pains in his knees when he stood up or knelt down. At first, it was easy to ignore the pain, but gradually, over time, it became more and more intense.
"It finally got to the point where I couldn't get around easily anymore," Steele recalls. "This made my job very difficult. Some days I could hardly even stand, and sitting became painful too."
For years, Steele drove to a doctor in Memphis where he received cortisone injections in his knees to help alleviate some of the pain. "It would work for a little while, but the pain never really went away and it always flared back up," Steele said.
In addition to the injections, Mr. Steele's daughter, a physical therapist, came to his house to work with him on a regular basis. While visiting other clients in the Northeast Missouri area, she heard of several who had very successful implants from a Dr. Joseph Williams. When she noticed that these patients responded better to such surgery than others, she referred her father to Dr. Williams of the Bone and Joint Institute in St. Louis. After meeting with Dr. Williams, Steele felt that a replacement would be his best option for a full recovery and return to the lifestyle that he missed. So in July of 2003, Orville Steele had a partial knee replacement on his right knee.
"Within six weeks after the surgery, I noticed a big improvement in my movement. I felt that this surgery had gone so well, that I wanted to have the other knee replaced," Steele said. In November, 2003, he did just that. After undergoing the second partial knee replacement, Steele worked hard to regain the strength and mobility he had long ago given up on.
"By the spring of 2004, I felt like I was back to my old self. Now, I can do whatever I want. Sometimes I even have to crawl around on my knees for my job. That is no longer a problem. I'm very satisfied with the results of my surgeries."
Dr. Joseph Williams is the founder of the St. Louis Bone and Joint Institute. He is well known and respected within the Orthopedics community for his bedside manner and his understanding of his field.
Dr. Williams is a graduate of Saint Louis University School of Medicine and he completed his internship and his general surgery residency at the Saint Louis University Group of Hospitals. He served his residency in orthopedic surgery at the Phoenix Combined Orthopedic Program in Phoenix, Arizona.
Added to his long list of qualifications, Dr. Williams is among a select number of specially trained United States physicians cleared to use something called the Oxford Partial Knee. This is a form of minimally invasive surgery allowing for a much quicker recovery as the incision is much smaller than that of a traditional knee replacement, and generally only one compartment of the knee is resurfaced as opposed to all three compartments of the knee.
Certain criteria must be met before a person qualifies for the Oxford Partial Knee. Such surgery is intended for patients with osteoarthritis (degenerative joint disease), or avascular necrosis (temporary or permanent loss of blood supply to the bone that can cause the bone to collapse), which are limited to the medial, or inner side, of the knee compartment.
Fortunately, Orville Steele did qualify for the Oxford Partial Knee replacement, and according to him, his recovery was far better than he had ever imagined it would be.
Using this minimally invasive technique, Dr. Williams essentially reconstructed the damaged cartilage within Mr. Steele's knees. This relatively new and exciting procedure allows for replacements to withstand much more pressure over time, which ensures that they will last longer and give the recipient a better chance at returning to their precious lifestyle.
What makes Dr. Williams so successful is his vast experience and knowledge in the area of minimally invasive replacements of the knee, hip, shoulder and spine. Combine that with his systematic method of patient education, physical conditioning and nutritional support for his patients. This program focuses on educating patients to set realistic expectations for surgery before, during and after the procedure. A nutritional plan and a physical conditioning plan to achieve optimal health before surgery may also be incorporated. Postoperative therapy includes additional patient education and comprehensive, appropriate exercise.
Dr. Williams, a fellow with the American Academy of Orthopedics, is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He is a member of numerous prestigious medical organizations, among them the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, International Arthroscopy Association, and the Missouri State Orthopedic Society. He is also a past board member of the Arthritis Foundation, Eastern Missouri Chapter.
As for Orville Steele, he could not be more pleased with the results of his own replacements. When asked if he had any advice or encouragement for others who may be considering a knee replacement he said, "If it's possible for you, then it's the way to go. Dr. Williams is very good and professional and I highly recommend him."
Only an orthopedic surgeon can determine if surgery is right for an individual and the experience of each patient may vary. Surgery involves potential risks and requires recovery time. The life of any joint replacement depends on patient weight, age, activity level and other factors. Information pertaining to the Bone and Joint Institute is available by telephoning 314-966-6480 and at www.bonejointinstitute.com.