BioJoint Success Story: Busy Dad is Back on His Feet

Matt Trachsel and his daughters

Matt Trachsel dealt with knee pain for about three decades. The 42-year-old Jefferson City man was told to “pray for a cure for arthritis,” because otherwise he would need a traditional knee replacement at a very young age and likely would need multiple replacements over his lifetime.

A year ago, he sought a different kind of knee procedure from the Mizzou BioJoint® Center.

Surgeons at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute use donated tissue and bone to repair knees, hips and other joints rather than replacing the joints with metal-and-plastic devices. The procedure is designed for patients who are too young and active for traditional joint replacement.

One year afterward, Trachsel, a father of seven and a manager at The Builders’ Association, is feeling great about his decision. Here is Matt’s story, in his own words.

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At age 11, I had my first knee surgery. I tore the lateral meniscus in my left knee playing football. In my younger years, I was extremely active in organized sports, playing football, baseball, basketball and tennis.

Four years after tearing the meniscus, the articular cartilage above where my meniscus had been began to deteriorate. I was diagnosed with osteochondritis and had surgery to help stimulate the blood flow to the dying area of my knee. Nine years later and still very active, I was one of the first few to have a new articular cartilage transplant procedure done, called Carticel. I underwent surgery again, to get a biopsy of my own cartilage to be sent off and more grown in a lab and then transplanted back into my knee four weeks later. I spent eight weeks on crutches, completely non-weight bearing, so the cells could grow. The surgery was a success, but I needed to have it cleaned out five years later, as I had small tears from being active in everything. Sixteen years later, I was experiencing significant pain and issues that I could no longer tolerate — and I have a very high pain tolerance.

As a father of seven children, I needed to be active to be able to keep up with cheerleading, volleyball, basketball, football, gymnastics and dance practices. The pain from simply walking was too much to bear. The throbbing, popping, cracking and swelling kept me from going to sleep or would wake me up. My quality of life was going downhill fast. I knew something needed to be done.

Due to my young age and still active lifestyle, I was advised to see Dr. James Stannard at the Missouri Orthopaedic Institute regarding BioJoint instead of the traditional metal-and-plastic knee replacement. I was given all the information, statistics, risks, time frame, specifics on the actual procedure, physicians’ qualifications, etc., that I needed to help me make the decision to have a BioJoint.

I am over a year post-op, and I’ve been cleared to ease into normal activities again. I couldn’t be happier with the decision to have this done. It’s changed my life. I would encourage anyone with knee problems who feels they have very few options to consider a BioJoint procedure. Get a consultation to see if it’s the right fit for you.

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