All too often with degenerative joint issues such as arthritis or meniscal tears, the immediate solution is replacement. What can be expected in replacement surgery is a long and involved surgical procedure followed by weeks to months of rehabilitation and a long recovery period. Many times replacement surgery is presented as the only option to patients. This is exactly what happened to Orchid P, who recently shared her story with us.
Orchid was a vibrant woman in her seventies who had a full knee replacement years ago that was fairly successful. She was left with a limited range of motion but otherwise she was functioning just fine. Her other knee had some degeneration, but Orchid stayed active and managed her pain with an anti-inflammatory. Basically, Orchid had no complaints.
And then she was in a car accident.
The accident tore what remained of Orchid’s deteriorating meniscus. She was left with severe, acute pain and limited mobility. She now needed a cane to walk. Orchid’s life was seriously changed.
It became a domino effect. Orchid was unable to work and, with limited mobility, she started gaining weight—another added stressor to a failing knee. Orchid reached out to her Orthopedist for advice.
“My doctor wanted to do a complete knee replacement and I said ‘no, I won’t go through that again.’” Orchid recalled what she had experienced with her knee replacement. She didn’t want to repeat that and hoped instead to preserve her knee if at all possible.
Orchid made an appointment with Advanced Regenerative Orthopedics. After a thorough evaluation and assessment, Orchid was offered another option: Minimally invasive surgery that would fix the tear, inject regenerative medicine, and use a denervation technique to deaden the pain.
“This triad fuses three technologies of arthroscopic surgery,” said ARO Medical Director, Dr. Robert Dean, “to preserve her anatomy and extend the natural life of her knee, so that she doesn’t have to have their only alternative, being a knee replacement.”
Orchid decided to move ahead with ARO and the day following her surgery she walked into Dr. Dean’s office with no pain and no cane.
“I am on my way now to walking normal, like I wanted to from the very beginning,” she said.
Informed decisions are crucial when considering treatment for degenerative joints. Major surgery and full replacement should be a last resort with other, less invasive options explored first. That is the philosophy Dr. Dean lives by.
“If we can give another year, two, three, five, or ten years of function of that natural joint, that’s what we’re all about.