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St. Claire HealthCare’s Orthopedic Surgeons are Changing Lives … One Joint Replacement at a Time

St. Claire HealthCare’s Orthopedic Surgeons are Changing Lives …  One Joint Replacement at a Time

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis, impacting millions worldwide. For many, symptoms can be treated with non-surgical options like anti-inflammatory medications or steroid or gel injections, but when these options are no longer managing your condition, it's time to turn to St. Claire HealthCare's orthopedic surgeons.

Charles Pesson, MD, and Eric Dennis, MD, offer surgical treatments, including joint replacements, that can decrease your pain and improve your quality of life. Learn more about two commonly performed joint replacement procedures at St. Claire HealthCare, total knee and anterior total hip arthroplasty (replacement).

Computer Navigated Total Knee Replacement

“For patients suffering from osteoarthritis, the first line of treatment is steroid or gel injections,” said Dr. Pesson. “Once injections into the knee are no longer beneficial for pain relief, we have to consider surgical intervention to improve the individual’s ability to stand and be active.”

Computer navigated total knee replacement is one of the most successful procedures helping patients return to a more active lifestyle. The surgeon uses computer navigation to assist in positioning the implants accurately producing the best outcome. After placing metal caps on the femur and tibia, a plastic cushion is placed in between creating a smooth surface for pain-free standing and walking.

“I’ve been performing computer navigation for knee replacement for more than 20 years,” said Dr. Pesson. “Not only does navigation produce a more precise outcome, but there are additional benefits to the patient including less blood loss and reduced risk of complications.”

For most individuals, knee replacement is a permanent solution with studies showing implants may last more than 30 years.

With the assistance of a physical therapist, a patient can expect to be walking within a few hours of their surgery. A walker or cane may need to be used for several weeks after surgery. Within six weeks, patients should be walking independently and getting back to their favorite activities.

Anterior Total Hip Replacement

Hip replacement is a common surgery, with more than 400,000 procedures performed in the United States each year. SCH offers different approaches to hip replacement depending on the condition of the patient including the anterior approach.

According to Eric Dennis, MD, Orthopedic Surgeon and Sports Medicine Specialist, patients who are 50 or older and are struggling with hip arthritis would be candidates for this procedure. “We usually try to wait for people to be at least 50 so that the artificial implant will last the rest of their life.”

The anterior approach is a minimally invasive surgical technique in which surgeons make an incision at the front of the hip and work between the muscles to keep them intact. This approach allows the patient to spend less time in the hospital, have a faster recovery, experience less pain, and use fewer narcotics to relieve pain after surgery.

“We allow you to walk the same day of your surgery and to put weight on the operative extremity that same day,” said Dr. Dennis. “A patient should be able to do most things around their house within two to four weeks, but getting full-functioning of the hip will take six months to a year.”

Find out if these procedures are right for you. Call 606.783.6641 to schedule an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon or request an appointment online at