Most patients who visit their orthopedic surgeons or podiatrists are not as well informed about their options as they should be. Often, patients will receive a total joint replacement and are told AFTER the surgery they will not be able to lift more than 20lbs (i.e. picking up their children) or that they no longer have an ACL, which provides natural movement in the knee. Arthrosurface helps maintain the patient’s natural anatomy and lets them resume full activity! Arthrosurface may or may not be right for you, however, patients should be informed about all of their options before making a decision on a procedure they know little about. Below are some questions patients SHOULD be asking their surgeons:
- Will my joint feel and move naturally after you do the surgery?
- Will you remove my ACL?
- Will you remove the head of my shoulder bone to put in the “prosthesis”
- Will you remove the “labrum” in my shoulder to put in an implant?
- Is my cartilage damage localized?
- Is the alignment of my joint close to normal?
- Is my joint unstable?
- Do I have any joint space remaining?
- How long will I be hospitalized?
- Can the procedure be performed on an outpatient basis?
- Will the recovery take weeks or months?
- Can I go back to all my previous sports and activities?
- Will I be able to lift weights and if so how much?
With the Arthrosurface Joint Restoration System, the surgeon only resurfaces the damaged area, similar to the way a dentist fills in a cavity, leaving the rest of the structures in your joint intact. This way, your native anatomy is preserved. The exposed and painful bone is covered while all the structures in your joint help you move and function properly are left in place. For example, if you received an Arthrosurface knee implant, your ACL and PCL would NOT be touched or removed, thereby allowing you to have a knee that feels normal but pain free.
There is a significant group of people with early joint disease and cartilage damage that have failed treatments such as physio therapy, pain medication, injections, arthroscopy and grafts who continue to experience pain and reduced activity levels. These people are younger, physically active and have lifestyles that don’t permit significant downtime. They are looking for treatments that are quick, will help them stay active and have an accelerated rehab regimen. The surgical procedure for the HemiCAP implant can be performed on an outpatient basis, with less morbidity than a joint replacement and a post op rehab program that allows a quicker recovery to full mobility.
In orthopaedics, patients are normally considered too old for “biologic” treatments if they are over 40 years old but too young for a joint replacement if they are under 65 years old. If you are between 40 and 65 you now have a new option, Arthrosurface.
The HemiCAP implant is intended to offer a surgical alternative for patients who might otherwise endure years of pain and loss of function while waiting for a more appropriate age for joint replacement surgery.