My name is Dr. David Halsey and along with Dr. James Howe, I provide comprehensive medical and surgical care for patients who are suffering from acute and chronic hip and knee problems at the new UVM Medical Center Orthopedic Specialty Center on Tilley Drive in South Burlington, Vermont.
As I thought about how best to use this new communication tool for people interested in learning more about the remarkable advances in the care of painful joints, I called upon a number of friends and family to give me direction.
Almost to a person, my “focus groups” told me that providing up-to-date information on the new techniques and technologies available to people who suffer from chronic joint pain would be very valuable. Second, many people want to know that these important medical and surgical advances are available locally here in Vermont at the UVM Medical Center.
Over the next months, I will use this forum to kick start a series of conversations about these new techniques and technologies to live better with your arthritis, to learn if surgery is right for you, and opportunities to minimize the recovery time after surgery, restore unrestricted function and allow your new joint to last as long as possible:
Surgical treatments to eliminate arthritis related pain:
1) “MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY”
2) COMPUTER-ASSISTED SURGERY
3) ADVANCED TECHNOLOGIES
4) THE ORTHOPEDIC CENTER “TOTAL JOINT SCHOOL”
Medical treatments for arthritis related pain:
2) “Natural supplements”
3) Injectable therapies
4) Knee supports and braces
Over the past two years, I have introduced multiple new techniques to the UVM Medical Center Orthopedic Joint Replacement Service including the new minimally invasive “mini-posterior approach” popularized at the Mayo Clinic and The Hospital for Special Surgery in New York, as well as the use of computer assisted surgical navigation to allow more precise placement of the new joint replacement components.
Our team here at the UVM Medical Center has performed over 300 total hip replacements using these new techniques, and I have been using these strategies for my patients for the past six years (> 600 procedures in total). The medical literature is very clear that a patient is more likely to have a complication-free surgical experience when the surgeon and team perform a high volume of similar procedures annually. A recent article in the New York Times: When Getting a New Knee, Do It Right the First Time summarizes some of the research findings. Experience and volume matters!
There are several other popular ways to surgically expose the hip including the Hueter anterior (front) approach and the Hardinge lateral (side) approach. Like most things in life, your surgeon will likely have a preferred technique based on his or her surgical training and experience. Each approach has its own unique mix of benefits and potential risks. A thorough discussion with your treating orthopedic surgeon is the best way to learn and make an informed decision.
The following links will provide an initial education for you.
MINIMALLY INVASIVE SURGERY – video
COMPUTER ASSISTED SURGERY – video
Further, here is a link to a presentation on treatment options for arthritis of the knee.
“Advanced Treatments for Knee Arthritis (Smith and Nephew) Presentation
Please feel free to contact me by commenting on this blog post, and I will be happy to keep our conversation going.
David Halsey, MD, is an orthopedic surgeon at the UVM Medical Center and associate professor at the Larner College of Medicine at UVM. His areas of expertise include computer-assisted surgery, hip and knee resurfacing, minimal incision arthroplasty, and reconstructive surgery of the hip and knee.