Ritter Helps Patient Get Back in Motion

When pain or dysfunction affects our mobility, it can feel debilitating. James Price of Mill Spring, Mo., was in considerable, extreme pain for several years before his life changed by seeking care from R. August Ritter III, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Saint Francis Orthopedic Institute.

“I had worn a hole in my femur and my tibia from walking bone-on-bone for so long,” Price recalls. “Before surgery, I had to use a walker to go anywhere.” Price was struggling to maintain his three quarters of an acre as yard work and normal maintenance had become too painful to do. “I could not even push a lawn mower,” he remembers.

Price sought care from a different orthopedic provider near his hometown but his primary care provider did not agree with the advice he was given. “When I sought care for the surgery, I was at a weight that would make the surgery unsuccessful,” he claims. “The first physician wanted to proceed with the surgery without me losing the weight first, which my primary care provider told me would have been a complete failure.” Luckily, Price was referred to Advanced Orthopedic Specialists, a Saint Francis Medical Partner, shortly after.

Price first saw Brian C. Schafer, MD, orthopedic surgeon at the Saint Francis Orthopedic Institute, who referred him to Ritter due to the complexity of his case. “Dr. Ritter explained to me in detail what needed to be done and what challenges we were facing,” Price recalls. “He made me feel very comfortable.” Following Ritter’s direction, Price took the next six months to lose the weight needed to optimize his surgery results and came back for surgery on July 27.

The surgery process was smooth for Price. “After checking in, it took about 20 minutes to get me back and prepped,” he says. “Dr. Ritter came in shortly after to mark my knee and give words of encouragement.” Price remembers Ritter reassuring him the surgery would make a significant change in his life, and according to Price, it has.

“The day after surgery, I was already up and moving and able to be discharged,” Price exclaims. “After just four weeks, I was able to walk normally, for longer distances, without the use of a walker or cane.”

Price is back to doing activities he enjoys without pain. “I am back in the garden and the yard,” he states. “It is like someone flipped a switch and the pain was gone.” His physical therapy treatment plan is improving his mobility, flexibility, range of motion and strength in his leg.

Price encourages anyone who is apprehensive of the surgery to seek treatment. “If you are tired of the pain, then do it,” he recommends. “Once you are educated and become familiar with the process, it will help you feel more comfortable, and the relief you will feel after is incredible.”

Price praises Ritter for the impact he made on his care plan and his quality of life. “Having [Ritter] as my doctor definitely made a difference,” he notes. “He is professional, courteous, encouraging and talks directly to you, not around you. There is a difference between a physician who is trying to help you reach a successful solution in your journey and someone who just wants to perform surgery, and Dr. Ritter led me to a successful solution.”


Your body is unique – your care should be, too. The team of experts at the Saint Francis Orthopedic Institute create personalized treatment plans that include your input every step of the way. To make an appointment at Advanced Orthopedic Specialists, call 573-335-8257.

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