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Dr. Kevin Klean, Orthopedic Surgeon at Crossing Rivers Health, Explains Arthritis

Friday, April 30, 2021

Prairie du Chien, WI - Crossing Rivers Health in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin recently welcomed Kevin Klean, Board-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon, to their diverse team of providers. Dr. Klean provides all aspects of orthopedic care and is fellowship-trained in orthopedic sports medicine. He brings experience and expertise for services such as total joint replacements; minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder, hip, and knee; complex knee surgery; cartilage procedures; and athletic injuries affecting patients ranging from the weekend warrior to the elite athlete.

“When working with patients, my goal is to help them understand their condition and treatment, so we can work together to make informed decisions based on their lifestyle and personal goals,” shared Dr. Klean. “I want to make sure my patients are actively involved in their care. I care about my patients and will do everything I can to improve their quality of life.”

“One of the things I see patients for quite often is arthritis - whether it be the shoulder, the hip, or the knee,” commented Dr. Klean. “The hip and knee are more common because they are weight-bearing joints. However, there are many factors that can contribute to the development of arthritis, such as a traumatic event that contributes to degenerative changes, genetics, or repetitive activity – for example, painters that often have their arm above their head can be predisposed to rotator cuff injuries, individuals who stand all day on a hard surface often experience pressure on their joints, or those who are active in sports or running can put impact or stress on their joints. Everyone has a different tolerance based on the way they were built.”

To explain arthritis, Dr. Klean uses a comparison to tread on a tire.

“The more wear and tear and the more miles you put on a tire, the more you start to wear down the tread. At some point, unfortunately, you are going to have a bald tire,” he explained. “The same is true for our joints. When two bones come together, there’s a joint. Within each joint, there is a nice, smooth, slippery cartilage covering over the ends of each joint, which creates a smooth, pain-free range of motion in the joint. Just like the tread on the tire – the more wear and tear or miles we put on our joints, the more we start to wear down that nice, smooth, slippery covering. Initially, it becomes roughened like sandpaper. When it rubs back and forth, it causes inflammation resulting in more pronounced pain, swelling, and stiffness inside the joint creating symptoms that can change your quality of life. Eventually, just like the tread on the tire, you start to wear down that surface even further and the joint becomes bone-on-bone, like a bald tire, creating even more inflammation resulting in pain, swelling, and stiffness.”

Many people ask about the appropriate time to have joint replacement surgery.

“I am never going to tell you when the right time is for you to have surgery; you are going to tell me,” responded Dr. Klean. “When your quality of life is significantly affected, when you can’t do things you enjoy doing, and we can no longer adequately control your pain and symptoms - that is usually the right time. I’ll provide you with all the information regarding your condition. We’ll go over the x-rays and imaging studies together and talk about your goals and lifestyle. We will discuss the best option moving forward and make that decision collectively as a team. It’s about what is best for you and how we can get you back to what you enjoy doing.”

Dr. Klean welcomes new patients. Appointments can be made at 608.357.2525. The registration team at Crossing Rivers Health Center for Specialty Care will work with you to schedule appointments and obtain primary care referrals, if needed, to ensure that appointments will be covered by insurance.