Arthritis is a common cause of pain and disability, affecting approximately 45 million Americans. In a normal joint, motion is smooth and painless because the articular cartilage is healthy and functioning properly. In an arthritic joint, the articular cartilage deteriorates, resulting in impaired and painful motion. Arthritis commonly affects the hip and knee, as these are weight bearing joints. Over time, individuals with hip or knee arthritis may experience progressive pain, swelling, stiffness, and deformity.
The surgeons of Lakeshore Orthopaedics have been successfully performing joint replacement surgery for many years. However, with the addition of Dr. Kirk D. Dimitris to our group, we have taken our services to the next level. Dr Dimitris is the only fellowship-trained joint replacement surgeon in Manitowoc County. He specializes in the comprehensive treatment of hip and knee arthritis, including both conservative and surgical care. Dr. Dimitris performs minimally invasive and muscle sparing procedures for hip and knee replacement. He also performs the gender specific knee, or "female knee", when the indications are appropriate. Dr. Dimitris has extensive training in computer-assisted knee replacement surgery, as well as hip resurfacing procedures. He also has significant experience in complex revision surgeries, management of periprosthetic fractures, and treatment of infected total joint prostheses.
The Total Joint Clinic at Lakeshore Orthopaedics specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of hip and knee disorders in patients of all ages and activity levels. The initial treatment for hip or knee arthritis is typically nonoperative. Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed to decrease inflammation within the joint, which may provide some pain relief. Physical therapy and a low impact exercise program serve to increase range of motion and strength of the lower extremity, and may be of benefit in some patients with arthritis. Running, jumping, and other high impact activities should be avoided, as they may aggravate the condition. Weight reduction will help to decrease the load borne by an arthritic joint, and is recommended for overweight individuals.
Corticosteroids are powerful anti-inflammatory agents which may be injected directly into the knee joint. This will provide symptomatic relief in some patients, and has a low risk of complications. Viscosupplementation is another option for patients with symptomatic arthritis. Hyaluronic acid therapy entails a series of 3-5 injections, which has been found to decrease inflammation and relive pain in some individuals. A transient reaction to these injections has been reported by some patients, but otherwise the risk of complications is low. Although many patients experience symptomatic relief after hyaluronic acid therapy, there is no scientific evidence that this will alter the progression of arthritis.
For patients who do not improve with conservative measures, surgery is often considered. The most definitive treatment for symptomatic arthritis of the knee or hip is total joint replacement. Joint replacement surgery is undoubtedly one of the greatest medical advances of our time. More than 90-95 percent of individuals who undergo total joint replacement will experience a significant reduction in pain and improvement in overall function. Innovations in implant technology coupled with state-of-the-art techniques allow current hip and knee replacements to function at least 20 years in 90 percent of patients.
Dr. Kirk Dimitris brings a new level of training and expertise to the patients of Northeast Wisconsin. Dr. Dimitris is proficient in all of the latest innovations in total joint replacement surgery, including:
- Computer assisted knee replacement surgery
- Minimally invasive surgery
- Muscle sparing surgery
- Hip resurfacing surgery
- Gender specific knee replacement
- Revision hip and knee replacement surgery
For persistent hip and knee pain or stiffness, consider The Total Joint Clinic at Lakeshore Orthopaedics. Call 920-320-5241 or 1-800-994-3662 (ext. 5241) to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kirk Dimitris.
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Manitowoc Office (920-320-5241)