Olympic Medals

Joint Replacement Isn’t Just For Olympic Athletes

With the world transfixed on the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, it is amazing to see the extraordinary natural physical talents, skill and stamina of these astonishing athletes. It takes years of dedication and intense physical training to compete at this elite level. Such grueling training is tough both physically and mentally.

Many former professional athletes, including Olympians, seek out Dr. William Leone for his incomparable experience and reputation for compassionate, effective care. A number of past Olympic  athletes have sought his help over the years including a Jamaican soccer player, a Mexican volley ball player as well as a water polo player and an East German gymnast. But it’s not just professional athletes who suffer from joint damage.

Repetitive motion combined with impact to hip and knee joints, often leads to the wear-and-tear of those joints. Hyaline cartilage is a specialize tissue within our joints which covers the ends of the bones. It relieves friction and helps distribute forces.  When this special cartilage is damaged, it does not regenerate. With time it  breaks down resulting in inflammation and swelling. This degeneration progresses until the bones are literally grinding together.  This “bone on bone” arthritis and is painful resulting in deformity and limp.  This end stage arthritis is most predictably, effectively, and definitively treated with a joint replacement.

Surgery should be the last resort. There are appropriate conservative methods to treat the symptoms associated with an arthritic hip or knee prior to considering surgery. These are designed to stop or at least slow down  joint deterioration and symptoms. These include NSAIDs, physical therapy, modalities such as ice or heat, massage, acupuncture and more. Many are effective in the early stages of joint deterioration, but none actually reverse or stop the progressive demise of that joint.

Considering a joint replacement becomes appropriate when non-surgical treatments simply aren’t’ working or aren’t working good enough. Often the decision to proceed with a hip or knee replacement becomes a “life style” or “quality of life” decision. Both hip and knee replacements have a wonderful tract record for relieving pain and correcting deformity. After a hip or knee replacement, individuals become more independent, active and can fully engage in life because they are not in pain and are more confident.

“When patients return after having their hip or knee replacement and I see how transformative and life changing it’s been, and they say thank you, it’s a constant reminder to me of why I became a doctor and why I love what I do.” says Dr. Leone

 For many older adults, getting back onto the tennis court or golf course isn’t the main reason they decided  have hip or knee surgery. Rather their goal is to not lose their independence by regaining their mobility. For some, independence is being able to continue to drive and live on their own; for others it’s not having to give up travel, dancing or pickle ball. In addition to older adults, Dr. Leone cares for an increasing number of people in their 20s, 30s and 40s who, for a variety of reasons, suffer from intolerable hip or knee pain and want a better quality of life.

Whether an arthritic hip or knee developed from an injury, an autoimmune condition like rheumatoid or their genetics, most of Dr. Leone’s patients are back on their feet just hours after surgery and then return to their homes the very same day. “It is remarkable how quickly people of all ages get well and then active again when surgery is well done, their pain is relieved,  and they are well informed and confident in their new joint and their team.” says Dr. Leone. While they may not go on to compete in the Olympics, they rapidly regain their mobility, their strength and their smile.  All attribute their new lease on life to Dr. Leone’s surgical skills, technological abilities and heart-felt compassion and empathy.

Dr. Leone has performed more than 15,000 joint surgeries over the course of his esteemed career, building a proven track record of superb clinical results. Performance data consistently demonstrate lower complication, and readmission rates than peer orthopedists as well as shorter hospitalization stays and better patient satisfaction scores.

We thank you for your readership. If you would like a personal consultation, please contact our office at 954-489-4584 or by email at LeoneCenter@Holy-cross.com.