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Birmingham Hip Resurfacing

An ideal alternative to a total hip replacement in young active patients with hip arthritis. It is a bone preserving surgery, that allows an individual to resume a very active lifestyle and allows further options with age.

Learn more about Hip Resurfacing »

Total Hip Replacement

Total Hip Replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the arthritic ball and socket with a prosthetic implant. It allows for pain free motion and improvement in quality of life.

Learn more about Total Hip Replacement »

Total Knee Replacement

Total Knee Replacement is a surgical procedure that “resurfaces” the arthritic ends of the knee joint with metal and plastic. It reduces/eliminates pain and improves quality of life.

Learn more about Total Knee Replacement »

Patient Testimonials

Discover what our patients have to say regarding their office visit, surgical experience or recovery process. We also encourage our existing patients to share their own experience!

Steve M.

  • Hip Resurfacing
Steve M.'s photo

“Hartford resident and business owner Steve began noticing problems with his right hip around eight years ago. "I was only in my 30s when I had signs of arthritis," says Steve, president of M. Home Improvement. "I've always worked in construction - a lot of roofing, heavy lifting, climbing ladders - so I figured it just came with the territory." Two years ago, however, the pain in his hip started worsening to the point of being almost unbearable.

"The pain kept me from sleeping, and when I was awake, it was always there," said Steve. "I could never get away from it. I'd grab handfuls of ibuprofen (an over-the-counter painkiller) to get through each day."

At 42 years old, Steve was considered too young for traditional total hip replacement surgery. Last year, however, when his arthritic hip started severely affecting his ability to work, he knew something had to be done. "I was beginning to feel like an old man," said Steve. "By 2006, I had a hard time working even four hours a day. I would get to lunchtime and barely be able to pull myself into my pickup truck to go home. Then I'd have to grab on to every handrail just to get into the house, and once I was in, that was it. I couldn't do anything more the rest of the day." Once an avid hunter and fisherman, Steve's quality of life was going downhill...until he met Joel Wallskog, MD at the Aurora Health Center in Hartford

A fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Wallskog is an expert in joint replacement procedures, and he has a particular interest in hip surgeries from his involvement in clinical trials for emerging new technology in Cleveland six years ago. Dr. Wallskog felt that Steve was an excellent candidate for "hip resurfacing," an alternative to total hip replacement that's specifically for young, physically active patients. The advantage of hip resurfacing over traditional surgery is that it involves far less bone removal, allowing for a quicker recovery, and ultimately, greater range of motion and higher level of function. In 2001, while undergoing his fellowship at Case Western Reserve University, Dr. Wallskog was one of several physicians involved in testing the breakthrough procedure

"I was excited about hip resurfacing then, but even more so now because I can offer it to my patients here," said Dr. Wallskog, who practices at the Aurora Health Centers in Hartford and West Bend. The procedure was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in May 2006 and Dr. Wallskog is one of a few select physicians in Wisconsin certified to perform it. "I saw back then how well patients did after resurfacing," said Dr. Wallskog "I knew this technique was going to help a lot of patients like Steve."

During traditional total hip replacement surgery, the surgeon makes an incision over the side of the hip through the muscles and removes the diseased bone tissue and cartilage from the hip joint while leaving the healthy parts of the joint intact. Then the surgeon replaces the head of the femur (thigh bone) and acetabulum (hip socket) with new, artificial parts.

During hip resurfacing, a modified version of total hip replacement with the same goals, the femoral head is not removed. Instead, the damaged surface is reshaped and capped with a durable metal shield, and the corresponding hip socket is resurfaced with a thin metal lining. The resulting metal on metal surfaces of the joint allow for a smooth gliding motion, welcome relief from the painful bone on bone grinding endured by patients prior to surgery.

Dr. Wallskog performed the hip resurfacing procedure on Steve in late February at the Aurora Medical Center in Hartford. Like all of his joint replacement surgeries, his standard approach is minimally invasive, involving a smaller incision resulting in less pain and quicker recovery.

"The nurses actually had me up and taking steps just a few hours after surgery," said Steve. "I was amazed by the lack of pain. I used very little medication. The pain I experienced after surgery was nothing compared to the pain I had before surgery."

Three days after his operation, Steve left the hospital on crutches, which he used at home for several weeks. Eight weeks post surgery, he returned to work full time on his own two feet. "I was very diligent in my physical therapy at the Aurora Health Center in Hartford," said Steve. "The therapists there are amazing. It was challenging, to be sure, but worth it. My first day back at work, I remember walking around for eight hours without being sore at all. I could even go home after a full day on the job and do a little yard work...things I hadn't been able to do in a long, long time. Today, we're putting in some long days. Business is good, but at the end of the day, my hip feels great."

In early May, Steve and his friends took off for a few days of turkey hunting and fishing, his first such trip without pain in years. "I got a 22-pound Tom and carried it over my back for two miles across a farm field," said Steve. "I never limped, never stumbled. I didn't miss a beat. It was fantastic!

My way of life as I knew it has come back 100 percent. I feel like I did 15 years ago.”

Bob D.

  • Total Hip Replacement
Bob D.'s photo

“I suffered terribly for at least three and a half years. Every six weeks I was going in for a cortisone shot in my hip so I could just get by." Then in late 2003, Bob decided to move forward with hip replacement surgery. "I was extremely fortunate to have such a phenomenal doctor. He was very detailed with me in explaining how the surgery works and made sure I knew all of the ramifications." Bob received a ceramic-on-ceramic hip replacement, a technology Dr. Wallskog utilizes on his younger, more active patients. ”

Karen K.

  • Bilateral Total Knee Replacement
Karen K.'s photo

“I feel better than ever. I used to take pain medication every few hours. Now I can't even remember the last time I needed it.

From Dr. Wallskog to the wonderful hospital nurses and rehabilitation staff, I really can't begin to express my thanks for the orthopedic team we have here in Washington County. When I began considering surgery, people suggested I go to Milwaukee or Waukesha. But we're lucky... the best actually comes right here to us.”

Dave K

  • hip resurfacings (2)
Dave K's photo

“In 2007, at age 47, I was experiencing significant pain in my left hip joint. It was deterent to enjoying my favorite hobbies, skiing and biking. Even with cortisone shots and presrcription pain killers, I could not get good nights sleep and was walking with a limp. I had heard about the Birmingham hip resurfacing system that bike racer Floyd Landis had just undergone and looked into it further. Dr. Wallskog was one of the few ortho doctors in the state that was using the procedure. Fortunately he was in my insurance group and I set up an appointment. Dr. Wallskog thought that I was an excellent candidate. In April of 2007, right after ski season, I had my left hip resurfaced by Dr. Wallskog and his very capable assitant, Kathy Freeland, at the Hartford Hospital. The pain that had become part of my life was gone. By June I as back on my bike and even finished a mini-triathalon on July 4. Without the restrictions of a total hip replacement, I was back on the slopes the following ski season. Since then, my activities have expanded to include kayaking and rock climbing. Four years later I was experiencing the same problems with my right hip joint and in May 2011 had the same resurfacing procedure on my right hip. It was definitely the right option for me, allowing me to continue an active lifestyle. Dr Wallskog and Kathy Freeland are an awesome team of professionals that have a passion for what they do and do it very well.”

Gloria B.

  • Double-Partial Knee Replacement

“Just short of 7 weeks ago I had my knee replaced with Conformis. I'm walking without pain and feel like a new person ready to embrace life. The entire experience with Dr. Wallskog and his staff was positive every step of the way. It couldn't have gone any smoother and I couldn't be happier with the results. This morning I walked just under a mile! I haven't done that in years! My quality of life has already improved, I'm looking forward to the future and truly enjoying all life has to offer! THANK YOU DR. WALLSKOG!”

Chris T

  • left hip resurfacing

“I had my left hip resurfaced by Dr. Wallskog 10-29-09. At that point I was having trouble getting on my shoe, walking, and sleeping after any exercise. I kept playing racquetball but was always in pain. I gave up playing tournaments. I only was played catcher in softball and need to take alot of ibuprofen before and after the game.

I'm now back to playing racquetball three times a week and played in the Wisconsin State Singles tournament the first time in 10 years. I was afraid I'd have to change my game to protect the hip, but it feels stronger than my other hip. In softball, I'm back playing the outfield. I've also been biking every day and have been coaching my sons in soccer and baseball.

I can't say enough how happy I am with the surgery. I don't really think of my hip as limiting me any more.

Thanks again,

Chris Trost”

Anne S

  • Total hip replacement

“Nov of 2011 I had a left total hip replacement- three years after I had my right hip replaced. I am 52 years old and very active.I had a great outcome the first time around and I was able to resume tennis, volleyball, swimming and biking, all at a competitive level. With this second replacement I had less pain immediately after surgery and I was walking 70 feet day 1 post OP and lifting my leg in/out of bed by myself. I went home 1 day earlier and my pain level was at 1-2 the whole stay. I inquired at the difference from this surgery and the one I had 3 years ago. Dr. Wallskog uses a pre and post op medication regime that is effective with nerve and muscle pain. I told him that what ever he was doing that it worked fantastically. Since the pain and sensitivety were low I was able to walk without the cane after 2 1/2 weeks, stairs without railings and sleeping through the night peacefully. It is now 4 1/2 weeks and I am on the elliptical for up to 30 min, swimming 6 laps, walking 15 min and riding the exercise bike 30 min. My progress has been great and my family and friends can see the difference. I stay in contact with his nurse practioner Kathy, and she responds promptly to my questions via e-mail. I recommend Dr. Wallskog to anyone who is considering a hip replacement! Anne”

Brandon B.

  • Total Right Knee Replacement
Brandon B.'s photo

“I began having right knee pain in the spring of 2006 for no apparent reason and without a direct injury. I was playing softball and was active for a 25 year old. The pain continued to worsen throughout the summer of 2006 to the point where I could no longer walk without intense pain. Before the end of summer I had to use crutches otherwise I wouldn't be able to walk. I believed my pain was the result of torn meniscus cartilage in my knee, which I had previously experienced in 1997 after a basketball injury. I went to see the same orthopedic doctor that performed my arthroscopic surgery in 1997. It was confirmed that I had a bucket handle tear and I felt relieved that it would all be fixed shortly after the operation. Little did I know that this would be the beginning of a life changing experience.

After the arthroscopic surgery in September of 2006 the pain didn't subside. The exact opposite happened. My pain was so excruciating that it was incredibly difficult to stand on it. Shortly thereafter I was admitted to the hospital for a DVT (blood clot) in my right leg and spent 7 days in the hospital. Still the pain did not subside. I searched for a second opinion and had another arthroscopic surgery on my right knee (3rd total) in November 2006. Nothing new was found from that surgery. Two days after the surgery I was admitted into the hospital for the second time. I was admitted for a hematoma (blood surrounding the knee joint) and I was in the hospital for a total of 8 days. The pain was not going away. I was assigned a pain management doctor to help manage the pain, yet I was not receiving any answers as to "why" I was in so much pain.

To help manage the pain I had a spinal cord stimulator surgically implanted in my body to mask the pain in my right knee. I had every diagnostic test doctors could think of to help diagnose my pain, but to no avail. I was bed ridden for 4 months and was out of work due to the intense pain. Eventually your body learns to live with the pain and I had to make the decision to keep on living, but I never gave up trying to find root cause.

From 2006 to 2011 I saw 8 different orthopedic doctors looking for answers as to why my knee hurt so much. I received countless cortisone injections, lumbar blocks, femoral blocks, x-rays, bone scans, infectious disease evaluations, MRI's, CT Arthrogram, Synvisc injections and more. I was told mechanically nothing was wrong and the pain was believed to be a neurological-based issue. I saw multiple neurological-specialists who couldn't conclude that it was a neurologically related.

Needless to say I was extremely frustrated with all the opinions I was receiving and the fact that no one was truly willing to take on my case and investigate the facts to determine root cause. That all changed when I scheduled my appointment with Dr. Joel A. Wallskog!

I first met Dr. Wallskog in September 2011 and I knew immediately he would be the individual who would help me. His bed side manner was "hand's down" the best out of any doctor I saw over the last 5 years. He was considerate, compassionate, willing to listen, knowledgeable, wise, and did not make hastily decisions.

I cannot speak highly enough in regards to Dr. Wallskog. Given my challenging and difficult past it would have been very easy for him to take the easy road and dismiss my case and move onto another patient who was easier to diagnose. However, that wasn't the route that Dr. Wallskog chose to take, for which I am truly thankful that he didn't!

Dr. Wallskog was extremely thorough in his pursuit to ensure that all avenues were evaluated before jumping to any conclusions. I felt extremely confident in his decision making process and his plan to take action in resolving my knee pain. I never questioned the tests he ordered to ensure everything was uncovered. In fact, I felt relieved that he was so diligent in searching for the truth as to why I was having these issues.

My case was not a slam dunk even after all the thorough evaluations that were performed. Dr. Wallskog always, ALWAYS, had my best interest in mind. I trust his judgment and his ability to make the right decisions for what is best for me.

Test results showed damage in my knee joint. Dr. Wallskog made his intentions very clear and made sure I was OK with his approach prior to moving forward. Being 30 years old I was not a typical candidate for a total knee replacement, however, Dr. Wallskog made sure that he and his team were prepared in the event that I needed one. He also wanted to conserve as much of my natural anatomy as possible to help preserve my body as long as possible. Dr. Wallskog presented me with the surgical options: 1. Start with an arthroscopy to understand what was taking place in my knee; 2. If the scope determines significant damage a partial knee resurfacing would take place; 3. If damage was too great for a partial a total knee would be available in the operating room. We both agreed with this process and he confirmed the process again on the day of surgery. I confided in Dr. Wallskog prior to the surgery that I trusted his judgment that he would make the right decision during the procedure.

I ended up receiving a total knee replacement due to the degradation of the cartilage and the overall surface area being too large to accommodate the partial arthrosurfacing. I can honestly say that I'm very thankful for his discretion as the pain that I had been living with for the last 5 years is completely gone! I can now look forward to playing with my 3 kids and living life with my family, which I was so afraid that I wouldn't get the opportunity to do so with the pain I was living with.

Dr. Wallskog has helped me in so many ways I cannot begin to describe. Kathy Freeland, his Nurse Practitioner, is extremely helpful, considerate, an excellent listener, truly cares for their patients, and is always there for the patient, while being very approachable. Debbie, one of his nurses, is caring and thoughtful and is willing to help in any way she can. Dr. Wallskog's entire staff has been outstanding in every way imaginable! They provided me a great experience during the entire process.

I highly recommend Dr. Wallskog and his team of experts when it comes to orthopedic care! My advice to you if you are in pain is to never give up hope, always keep searching for answers, and go see Dr. Wallskog because you will not be disappointed! The last 5 years has been an experience that I have been blessed with and Dr. Wallskog was definitely worth the wait!

I cannot thank Dr. Wallskog and his team enough for providing me with a new outlook on life, living pain-free, enjoying what God has blessed me with!”

Sue S

  • Right & Left Hip Resurfacing
Sue S's photo

“First off, let me say that I have had a problem with my hip for about five years. I started going to a chiropractor to see if they could help with my pain but after about one year, I had to take measures into my own hands. The pain would be so bad that I could hardly walk, could not tie my shoes, could not sleep and the pain never let up. The pain was so bad I would favor one hip over the other. I would take Ibuprofen but it never helped. My quality of life was not what it should have been but for the years before my surgery, I just lived with the pain. My journey began when I decided to really take a look at what was causing the pain. I went to a few doctors and all of the doctors told me that I needed a total hip replacement on my right side. I could not believe that I would need that because I was only 46 years old and thought only older people needed that kind of surgery. The thought about cutting into my bone did not sound right, I was quite leery about it and thought there must be an alternative. I decided to take matters into my hands and was pro active went onto the internet and it had so many articles about Hip Resurfacing which was rather new when I started researching it. I wanted to find a doctor who had done this type of surgery. And wanted a doctor that would be around for me as I aged. I found Dr. Joel Wallskog. I went in for a consultation and really was quite impressed as he explained what the procedure was. I had the surgery November 12, 2008 and I was walking with a walker the same day! After the surgery, the pain was immediately gone. I went to physical therapy and was back to work 6 weeks after the surgery. I resumed all normal activities pain free. Life was good! Exactly 4 years from the date, I felt that same pain from my left hip and went to have a checkup with Dr. Joel Wallskog and never thought that I would have to have the other hip done. But once again, it's the quality of life and only one can decide how much pain they can take. I received a cortisone shot the same day and it did not work and deep down I knew that I would have to have surgery. But when? I decided to have the surgery January 12, 2012 and of course I was up and ready to tackle physical therapy but this time they came to the house which was an improvement. I went back to work 8 weeks after surgery. I know that I have to exercise and sometimes it is a challenge to fit it in but I am sure lucky to have found such a compassionate doctor who has made me pain free in a world that I never knew existed. Yes, I was quite scared about having the hip resurfacing surgery but I never doubted my doctor and his team. His team really helped me out when I had any questions about my surgery. I'm one of the lucky ones who have an awesome Doctor! Thanks Dr. Wallskog!!!”

Tom Jacques

  • Partial Knee Replacement
Tom Jacques's photo

“After battling knee surgery after knee surgery after knee surgery and still no end it was then I found Dr. Joel Walskog for a reason!

I first tore my ACL and Meniscus back in April 2010. After the surgery, I would experience stiffness and soreness throughout my struggling days at my Labor Union Job. I would ambulate with a limp and then my knee would lock up to the point, that I couldnât move it after that particular kind of work. I even had trouble driving my vehicle for long hours of driving on vacations or trips.

It was then, I noticed I couldnât perform that particular job and had to resign unfortunately, due to the inability to not be able to perform the standard work requirements of this particular Union Shop.....

I finally found a job that was accommodating for me that would allow my knee to move a bit better, but still the tunnel was dark and gloomy. I followed with seeing 2nd and 3rd opinion Drâs telling me this and that, but again I knew something still wasnât right for a 27 year old.

In between 25 and 27 years of age, back to back knee surgeries practically where more meniscus was shaved unfortunately, and my quadriceps muscle was not stimulating to therapy or therapeutic techniques.

So I had a nerve test done and many other tests to see if there was nerve damage and that came back negative. I saw a 4th and 5th opinion Dr and then it was there, that Dr. found Grade 4 arthritis underneath my knee cap.

Finally to sum things up it was a Blessing to have found Dr. Joel Wallskog who saved my life!

Later in life now at 32 years of age, I found out that I had a mental illness that was affecting my ability to strengthen what needed to be strengthened which was my major issue for not recovering correctly. I lost roughly 3-4 cm of muscle girth.

Currently, I'm back to getting not only my quadriceps musclesâ stronger and stronger, but my whole entire body! Tim looked so familiar up above that I've seen him somewhere and I'm not kidding you.

Mental Illness can affect ones ability to send those signals down to the muscle to support the joint. Thank you Team Wallskog. After having 4 knee surgeries in 4 years and tons of cortisone and synvisc injection shot, I finally found a path to my happiness again. Thanks Team!

Before I go, I want to say Iâm jumping again, not alley hoop style basketball, but again in moderation. Iâm doing light jogging and strengthening my body and releasing those endorphins after work outs and I feel great.

Steve O.

  • Knee Replacement

“Dr. Wallskog perfoemed a total knee replacement on me on Feb. 16, 2016. The surgery was so successful I was only out of work for a week and was without a walker or cane after 8 days. I've already played 3 rounds of golf and except for a little swelling now and again I'm totally pain free. I waited until I couldn't take the pain anymore and I should've done it much sooner. Dr. Wallskog is absolutely phenomonal and if I have any issues with my other knee I wouldn't hesitate one bit to have it done immediately. I fully recommend to anyone needing this procedure to see Dr. Wallskog. Somply the best!!”

Rick Z

  • Birmingham Hip Resurfacing
Rick Z's photo

“I consider myself a fairly avid bicyclist and ride about 1,000 miles a year, which in Wisconsin is usually April thru September.  I thought I had pulled a muscle when I started experiencing pain in my right leg a few years ago.  I tried stretching, rest and strengthening exercises to no avail and finally decided it was just due to aging.  I lived with the dull ache for several years as it slowly continued to worsen.  In the summer of 2019 my wife convinced me to get a professional opinion because she said I was getting a noticeable limp and she knew I was in constant pain and was no longer able to get a good night's rest because of it. 

We made an appointment with a specialist at Aurora and after listening to my symptoms and taking a single x-ray the doctor told me I had osteoarthritis in my right hip.  He told me that he could do a hip replacement but that would likely mean the end of my bicycling career.  He also told me there was another procedure called a Birmingham Hip Resurfacing that would allow me to continue biking and doing other athletic activities I enjoy.  He recommended Dr. Joel Wallskog and said he had an excellent record of success with the surgery.  So we made an appointment to see Dr. Wallskog at his West Bend office.  He confirmed the previous diagnosis and explained the risks and benefits of the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing procedure in great detail. He told me I was a great candidate for hip resurfacing because I was 59 years old and led an active lifestyle.  It was somewhat of a scary decision to make as I had never had a major surgery in my life, but Dr. Wallskog was very confident and we felt really good about his post op prognosis.

Dr. Wallskog performed the surgery at Aurora St. Lukes in October and a week later I was in physical therapy and three weeks after surgery I was on a stationary bike at PT.  I had my one year follow up with Dr. Wallskog in October of 2020 and he told me I don't need to see him again unless I start experiencing pain.

I'm happy to say I have ridden 1,058 pain free miles this season.  Having Dr. Wallskog perform the Birmingham Hip Resurfacing surgery was definitely the right choice for me.

Thank you Dr. Wallskog and nothing personal, but I hope to not have to see you again for many years.”

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