Breaking New Ground

Dr. Justin Klimisch stays at the forefront of the latest technological advances in his field at South Texas Bone & Joint.

By: Rebecca Esparza

Reconstruction of degenerative knee and hip problems is more advanced than ever, with groundbreaking techniques that make healing times quicker and have sent overall success rates soaring. At South Texas Bone & Joint, Dr. Justin Klimisch has seen dramatic changes in the field over the last few years, including many evidence-based advances that have given patients more options with better outcomes.

Klimisch’s specialty is the treatment of hip and knee disorders, ranging from hip and knee injections to arthroscopy, partial knee replacement, hip resurfacing and total joint replacement.

“Today we have a better understanding of the human anatomy and joint mechanics,” he marvels. “People with movement disorders have a variety of new options not available to them just a few short years ago.”

One of the most common injuries is due to continuous repetition, like running. “Sometimes all that is really required is rest,” he says. “When I see this, my advice is that when the pain continues beyond a normal period of rest, it’s probably time to see a doctor. Don’t ignore the warning signs your body is trying to tell you. You can avoid a lot of needless heartache down the road.”

Klimisch, a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who is fellowship trained in adult reconstruction and joint replacement surgery, says he stays at the forefront of the latest technological advances thanks to his affiliation as a consulting surgeon with a well-known global medical technology firm.

“I’m able to train other surgeons from around the nation on the newest surgical techniques for hip and knee procedures,” he says. “Implant materials, designs and techniques have improved dramatically. Classic hip replacement components have typically been made of metal or plastic. Now we’re using a new category of hypoallergenic materials, which have the advantages of ceramics without the risk of implant breakage. These materials have wear rates that are dramatically improved compared to the previous generation of implants.”

New technology allows doctors to match implants to a patient’s anatomy, recreating natural motion of hip and knee joints using computers. Ultimately, the goal is a faster, more efficient surgery with less blood loss and more successful outcomes overall.

Raised in South Dakota, Klimisch joined the U.S. Army in high school. After serving with the 82nd Airborne Division as a paratrooper in Iraq, he became a physician’s assistant, but yearned for more. Soon, he enrolled in medical school at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston.

After completing his fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, he was in private practice for two-and-a-half years in Seattle, Wash., where he was also an assistant clinical professor at the University of Washington Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine.

He moved to Corpus Christi to be closer to family and joined South Texas Bone & Joint in March of last year. Ultimately, solving problems for his patients drives his passion for teaching others. It is medical advances like genetic testing, more efficient use of pain management tools and better materials for the replacement of hips and knees that have aided this.

For example, Klimisch recognizes patients are asked to move a painful joint after surgery for the purposes of healing faster, so the goal is blocking pain at every level. “We block pain at the nerves and the spinal cord,” he adds. “Many people get nauseated with traditional pain medication. We’re even working with a new type of anesthesia where patients can experience 72 hours of pain relief versus the traditional six hours. Controlling pain symptoms for longer periods of time helps patients have a more successful rehabilitation, which will help patients heal faster.”

All these technological advances not only make Klimisch’s job easier to help his patients live better lives, but make things more fascinating and exciting for him as a medical professional.

“I love it, and I always want to learn more,” he says. “I’m particularly excited about where we are headed in the way of ‘smart joints’ someday. What may be science fiction now may be what’s right around the corner very soon, and that is an amazing thought.”

For more information about the innovative treatments for hip and knee disorders at South Texas Bone & Joint, visit www.southtexasboneandjoint.com or follow the group on Facebook and Twitter. And to learn more about Dr. Justin Klimisch, visit www.justinklimischmd.com, or call 361-854-0811 to make an appointment today.

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