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Cathy Taylor
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Kiwanis Learn About Orthopedic Medicine

Kiwanis Club Learn About Orthopedic Medicine

The Carmi Kiwanis Club met on January 24. President Katelyne Wolff called the meeting to order and welcomed all guests. Brad Lee won the 50/50 drawing. The Cheer for a Cure Event is Saturday, January 26. The annual Pancake Day is February 23 at Washington Learning Center.

Andrew Kleinschmidt, Vice President of Professional Services for Wabash General Hospital, introduced the speaker for the day, Dr. Justin A. Miller. Dr. Miller is a board certified orthopedic surgeon for Wabash General Hospital. Dr. Miller is from Grayville, and his wife is from Albion. They are happy to be back home.

Dr. Miller educated the club about osteoarthritis of the knee, which he defined as the breakdown between articular cartilage. The risk factors for osteoarthritis include: genetics, obesity, occupation, repetitive knee bending, and heavy lifting. The overall increase in osteoarthritis can be attributed to the aging of baby boomers and the rise in obesity.

By utilizing a variety of knee models and a slide presentation, Dr. Miller demonstrated the treatment options for osteoarthritis of the knee. Those treatment options include activity modification, weight reduction, NSAIDs (anti-inflammatory medications), injections, bracing, and surgery. Surgery options range from orthoscopic procedures to partial and complete knee replacement. Interestingly, Dr. Miller said that because of the way the human body is designed, every one pound of weight loss results in seven less pounds of stress on the knee. Weight reduction is the most preventative measure one can take to offset osteoarthritis of the knee.

A partial knee replacement actually keeps two-thirds of the knee intact. The advantages of a partial knee replacement is that it feels more normal to most patients. In the event that a total knee replacement is necessary at a later time, success rates are much higher when replacing a partial knee with a total knee compared to replacing a total knee with another total knee. Dr. Miller frequently tells his patients that they have three options. They can live with it. They can get injections. Or they can have knee replacement surgery.

Dr. Miller showed a slide of a Robotic Total Knee Arthroplasty, a computerized machine that assists with knee replacements. The machine costs are well over $1 million. However, the outcomes from the robot are not superior to the computer navigation module used by Dr. Miller at Wabash General Hospital. The “OrthAlign” module used at Wabash General Hospital allows for precision when it comes to cuts and alignments. Dr. Miller said that Wabash General Hospital is a small hospital that uses advanced technology and produces superior results.

Most of Dr. Miller’s patients are released from the hospital 1-2 days following a knee replacement surgery. Post-surgery therapy is essential. Dr. Miller opined that he prefers inpatient therapy, even though the trend is toward outpatient therapy. When asked how long a knee replacement will last, Dr. Miller said that they do not come with a guarantee, but a “well balanced” knee replacement can last 20-25 years. Andrew Kleinschmidt spoke to the advantages of education prior to knee replacement surgery. Wabash General offers such a training course called “Joint Camp.”

Wabash General Hospital is located in Mt. Carmel, IL. They provide orthopedic clinics at Wabash Christian Therapy in Carmi, as well as a clinic in Albion. The Orthopedic and Sports Medicine department of Wabash General Hospital offers a wide variety of orthopedic needs.