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patient success story

Retired Kirkwood Principal Bikes across Iowa after Knee Replacement

Franklin McCallie does not shy away from a challenge. Anyone who serves for 22 years as the principal of a high school must be pretty brave and terribly determined - and Mr. McCallie is just that. For 22 years, he walked the halls of Kirkwood High School as the principal, immensely enjoying his work with the teachers and students. But walking those long halls on a daily basis became very painful when he developed arthritis in his knees.

"During my fourteenth year at Kirkwood," Mr. McCallie says, "I nearly came to a halt with arthritis. I had arthroscopic surgery done to remove some floating particles from the meniscus, but walking was still very painful."

Mr. McCallie lived with the pain for several more years by exercising consistently, attending therapy and using ibuprofen regularly. But by the age of 61, the daily grind of walking became so painful that he decided to retire earlier than he planned.

Within the first year of his retirement, Mr. McCallie read an article about Dr. Joseph Williams with the Bone and Joint Institute of St. Louis and his success in knee replacements. "The article listed an information session with Dr. Williams and I was compelled to attend and hear him speak," McCallie recalls.

It didn't take long to realize that Dr. Williams could make a drastic difference in his life, and McCallie decided to have a total knee replacement on his right knee. In October of 2001, McCallie went to Des Peres hospital, where Dr. Williams performed the successful surgery.

"I had a wonderful experience at Des Peres hospital. I was up walking the same day of surgery, which surprised me. Of course, the first three weeks after the surgery were rough. I had a therapist who came to my house and worked with me. She was a nice young woman but tough as nails. It took about six weeks before I felt I had full control of my leg once more."

Though McCallie was impressed with Dr. Williams's surgical talents, he was equally pleased with the service and care he received while at Des Peres hospital. A facility that is determined to "redefine healthcare quality" and "be recognized for the passion of its people and partners in providing quality, innovative care to patients" (Des Peres hospital mission statement), McCallie felt that he received the best care and attention during his recovery period.

When he saw how much better he could move after the surgery on his right knee, McCallie went back to Des Peres hospital and Dr. Williams in February 2003 to have his left knee replaced. Because the arthritis was only on one side of the knee, Dr. Williams was able to perform a partial replacement on the left leg, which meant a faster and easier recovery time.

Dr. Williams is among a select number of specially trained United States physicians cleared to use something called the Oxford Unicompartmental Knee. This form of partial replacement allows for much quicker recovery as the incision is much smaller than that of a traditional total 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 Unicompartmental 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.

Because Mr. McCallie's left knee did not have the same amount of serious damage from arthritis as his right knee, he qualified for this special technique. One year and two months after this second surgery, Franklin McCallie participated in the RAGBRAI, a 500 mile bike ride across the state of Iowa from the Missouri river to the Mississippi River. He has also taken several trips to such places as London, New York and Washington D.C., where he was able to take walking tours, enjoy museums and even participate in a political march, all without the debilitating knee pain that had slowed him down before.

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.

Dr. Williams, a confirmed 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.

What makes Dr. Williams so successful is his vast experience and knowledge in the area of Orthopedics. Combine that with his systematic method of patient education, physical conditioning and nutritional support for minimally invasive joint replacement patients under the title of the Biomet Rapid Recovery Program. 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.

Franklin McCallie could not be more supportive of Dr. Williams and his staff at the Bone and Joint Institute or of the staff at Des Peres hospital as well.

"I've recommended this procedure and Dr. Williams to many people and will continue to do so," he says. "I am a great admirer of Joe Williams and of the knee technology that's available. In fact, I admire it so much, that I carry a small replica of the joint used in my replacements on my key chain so I can show it to those who are interested. I recommend this procedure and Dr. Joe Williams to anyone who is living in pain and wants to drastically change his life."

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. For more information on risks, warnings and possible adverse effects, visit Information pertaining to the Bone and Joint Institute is available by telephoning 314-966-6480 and at