Avera Medical Minute: Knee replacement surgeries bring mobility, freedom from pain for Gettysburg man

Published: Mar. 9, 2021 at 5:47 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Hard work can bring rewards. It can also take a toll on a body. Steve Clifford’s years of physical strain had caught up with him.

“Been a truck driver since I was 18 and kind of abused my body and put things off way too long,” said Clifford.

His pain was impossible to hide.

“Anybody that had seen me walk knew that I had knee problems,” said Clifford. “I needed quality of life change and that was one of the main reasons, and the pain was getting really bad.”

While talking to friends and neighbors in Gettysburg, he heard of Orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Mark Hagy at Avera Medical Group Pierre.

“So they not only replaced my knees, they straightened both my legs,” said Clifford.

This was not a routine knee replacement surgery.

“Long-standing deformity and we’re talking, you know 20 or 25, years,” said Dr. Hagy.

The surgeries were a success. There was a challenge when he needed to go in for physical therapy.

“I got COVID so did my wife, so that put physical therapy on hold,” said Clifford.

That’s when Clifford continued with his physical therapy instructions, at home.

“His self-motivation helped in pushing through. Absolutely,” said Dr. Hagy.

The pain is gone and there’s so much to look forward to.

“He’s worked with therapy and he’s basically listened to everything that we’ve outlined for him and it’s been as smooth as possible for such correction. and, you know, he and his wife have just worked together with me as a team and that’s, that’s the key,” said Dr. Hagy.

Dr. Hagy is passionate about helping his patients in the best way possible.

“Comparing robotics versus freehand surgery, as we sit right now there is no difference,” said Dr. Hagy.

Clifford has gone from not being able to bend his knees to planning gardening and yardwork this summer.

“When you’re having more bad days and good days, you’re having trouble putting on your pants, putting on your socks and shoes, going up and down steps, doing your simple activities of daily living, and you’re tired of suffering, that’s the time to come in,” said Dr. Hagy.

Knee replacements are designed to last 30 years. You can have an x-ray taken at any local clinic, have it sent to Dr. Hagy and arrange a virtual or in-person appointment.

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