A new weapon in the fight against arthritis and aching knee's, and you don't have to travel far from home to find it.
It's called partial knee replacement surgery, and it was developed in Europe more than a decade ago.
But more recently, if you wanted to stay in the states to have it -- you would have to travel to Houston, Dallas, or even Austin to have it done.
That's not the case anymore.
One Waco man's search for places offering the procedure landed him right here in Bryan.
It's a path Dan Pechacek hoped he never have to travel down.
"I was having a little bit of trouble with my knee and I had talked to my doctor and they were talking about doing a total knee replacement," Pechacek said.
But Dan wasn't convinced that a total knee replacement was his best option, so he began to do a little digging.
The partial knee replacement procedure quickly caught Dan's eye.
"I see a lot of people coming in and wanting a partial, they've seen it in the paper or on the Internet," Dr. Joseph Iero with St. Joseph's Joint University said.
The problem is not all people can qualify for the procedure. But after some X-rays, Dan is deemed a prime candidate.
"I said hey get me out of my misery," Pechacek said. "Let's go with it."
Doctors say the surgery is not only less invasive than total knee replacements, but since only a portion of the knee is affected, patients often experience less pain and are back on their feet the next day.
"The patients really do get better much quicker," Iero said. "One of my biggest problems is making them not do to much."
From the surgery table, to rounds of intense physical therapy, the program helps patients take their first steps towards recovery.
"Right after surgery and through the therapy I would say I never had more than a two or three pain level," Pechacek said.
Compare that to the eight or nine pain level Dan says he had some nights prior to the surgery.
Just a week after his surgery, he says each day gets a little bit easier.
"I can tell every morning the difference from yesterday morning," Pechacek said. "I can see improvement that fast."
One of the things that makes partial knee replacement surgery more appealing than a total knee replacement is that most people recover faster.
For a total knee replacement, it can take a patient up to six weeks to recover, whereas with a partial recovery time is typically just a couple of weeks.
Some things you can do to reduce your risk of needing knee surgery include:
Regular exercise and weight loss.
Doctors also say the stronger your leg muscles are they more they help protect your knees.
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