After a lifetime of struggling with his bad knees, Bob Schmidt, of Kenosha, had enough. Hiking, golf, playing in a band, and even everyday activities were nearly impossible.
“My left knee started hurting again last year when I twisted it,” Bob said. “I did physical therapy and had cortisone shots just to get me through the summer.” But for Bob – a husband, father, and grandfather – “just getting through” wasn’t how he wanted to spend the rest of his life. So he made an appointment to see Dr. Alan Gegenheimer, an orthopaedic surgeon with Froedtert South Orthopaedic Clinic. Dr. Gegenheimer completed his Orthopedic Residency in the Navy, where he was mentored by surgeons who trained at the Mayo Clinic for Total Joints, and the Cedar Sinai Kerlan-Jobe Institute for Sports Medicine. This experience helped Dr. Gegenheimer become the sports minded total joint specialist that he is today.
“Dr. Gegenheimer took the time to understand my goals,” Bob recalled. “I told him I wanted to get back to the activities I had given up because of my knees. Dr. Gegenheimer explained that there are different types of knee replacements, and that the surgery he would perform would give me the flexibility to bend and twist, unlike other procedures that might limit what I could do. I also liked that there was less removing of ligaments,” Bob said.
“Patients who need a total knee replacement don’t always know that they have options,” said Dr. Gegenheimer. “When a patient undergoes a “standard” knee replacement surgery and sacrifices their ACL and, possibly, their PCL, too, their arthritis knee pain gets better, but later returns when they become more active and put strain on their remaining ligaments. Gradually, the patient ends up deciding, ‘I guess I just can't do those things anymore.’”
“The knee replacement surgery I perform keeps all four of the knee ligaments: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in the center of the knee, the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), in the back of the knee, the medial collateral ligament (MCL), that gives stability to the inner knee, and the lateral collateral ligament (LCL), that gives stability to the outer knee. Preserving all four ligaments allows the patient to pivot on their leg, hike on uneven terrain, play tennis, or even downhill ski,” Dr. Gegenheimer said. “If you want to engage in those kinds of activities, the knee replacement I perform is what you need.”
Bob had the surgery on his left knee in early 2022.