Is it Too Late for Joint Replacement Surgery? 

When is joint replacement surgery called for? 

Patients suffering from chronic knee or hip pain know that it can seriously impact mobility as well as overall quality of life. In addition to pain, symptoms may include swelling, stiffness, muscle weakness, and limited range of motion. Causes range from rheumatoid or osteoarthritis to trauma to repetitive strain on the joint. After diagnosis, non-surgical treatments like anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy, and injections are the first course of action when treating persistent joint pain, but these methods aren’t always effective.  

What is involved in joint replacement surgery? 

The surgical screening process begins with a full clinical evaluation, using advanced imaging to determine the extent of the joint damage. The orthopedic surgeon will make an incision to access the damaged bone, tendon, and tissue, and replace the knee or hip joint with a prosthetic made of plastic, metal, or ceramic. The procedure can be done using a conventional approach or with robotic-assistance. The physicians at Atlantic Orthopaedics are at the forefront of innovation in knee and hip replacement techniques and technology and have pioneered the use of minimally-invasive robotic-assisted surgery.  

What can I expect after surgery? 

Commitment to post-operative care is a key factor in long term success. Recovery time will vary based on the individual patient’s response to the procedure and the surgical approach used. Proper recovery usually includes daily movement of the affected joint, physical therapy, and wound care management, along with a post-op follow up with your surgeon.  

What if I’ve waited too long to be eligible for joint replacement surgery? 

Because damage to cartilage, ligaments, and bone is progressive and won’t improve on its own, some patients wonder if there’s a point at which joint damage is too severe to be corrected by surgery. Atlantic Orthopaedics’ Dr. Michael Morwood, a fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who specializes in knee and hip replacement, answers this question.  

Is there a point when hip or knee replacement surgery can’t be done? 

The short answer is no. We can always individualize our treatment plan for every patient. Joint replacement surgery can be performed on a person of any age, no matter how severe the damage. There are cases where the pain and deformity are so great that the procedure or the post-op recovery are more challenging. Everyone is unique, with their own unique anatomy, and our training as orthopedic surgeons gives us the ability to handle the challenges involved in each individual case.  

If non-surgical treatments have not alleviated your joint pain, schedule an appointment to talk with an orthopedic specialist about whether replacement surgery is right for you. Relief from pain is possible, and it is never too late to get back to doing the things you love! 

Watch the Morwood Minute episode HERE

Relief From Hip Pain – How Arthroscopy Can Alleviate Pain and Restore Function

Hip pain can be debilitating, affecting everything from mobility to sleep to overall quality of life. The hip joint is where the thigh bone (femur) connects to the pelvis and is used constantly when one walks, bends, and supports his/her upper body. 

Who is a good candidate for Hip Arthroscopy?

Hip pain has varied causes; in young people the most common cause  is a labral tear–damage to the soft tissue lining the inside of the hip socket (acetabulum). A Labral tear can occur from repetitive wear over time, impingement from an underlying problem with the joint structure, or trauma from a sports injury or accident.  

For patients who suffer from a labral tear –and who have not found relief from conservative treatments like rest, over-the-counter pain relievers and physical therapy–hip arthroscopy may be the answer. It’s a minimally invasive procedure that can restore hip function and alleviate pain.

Patients with osteoarthritis, cysts, or ankylosis (fusion) of the hip joint are not good candidates for hip arthroscopy.  

What is involved in the Hip Arthroscopy procedure?

First, an orthopedic specialist will determine whether hip arthroscopy is appropriate based on a physical exam and x-ray or MRI imaging. Unlike open surgery, arthroscopy only requires a small incision through which a camera (arthroscope) is inserted. This gives the surgeon a clear, magnified view of the interior of the hip joint during the procedure. The surgeon will then repair or remove the damaged labrum, bone impingement, or loose bodies. Performed in  an outpatient setting , arthroscopic hip surgery usually leads to less post-operative pain and shorter recovery time than open hip surgery. 

Surgical Expertise + State of the Art Technology

Dr. Tyler Welch is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has performed approximately 300 hip arthroscopy procedures – In addition to his extensive experience, Dr. Welch utilizes state-of-the-art technology, including “HipMap” software that generates a detailed 3D image of the hip structure in advance of the procedure. Used as a planning tool, this advanced imaging enables him to precisely target the surgery and minimize disruption to surrounding tissue. 

Another innovative device employed by Dr. Welch is the Guardian, a cutting-edge operating table designed to hold the patient comfortably and securely in place, while providing the surgeon greater range of motion and visibility during the procedure. Traditionally, achieving proper positioning for hip surgery required the use of a post between the patient’s legs, a technique  that can cause groin pain . The Guardian table has eliminated post-operative groin pain. 

Below, we asked Dr. Welch a few questions about hip arthroscopy.

Where do you perform this procedure?
I perform hip arthroscopy at NECOS and at York Hospital.

Are you still the only practice in the Seacoast that uses the Guardian Table for this procedure?
That’s right, I’m still the only surgeon on the Seacoast that uses the Guardian Table.

Anything else you’d like current or future patients to know about this procedure and how it would benefit them?
What is nice about hip arthroscopy is that it is a relatively straightforward recovery.  Crutches are only required for about one week, and most patients make significant gains within 4-6 weeks. It is not too painful, and I have found that most patients only require pain medication for the first 24-48 hours.

Also, surgery is reliable for the right patient.  As long as the patient has hip impingement without any sign of arthritis, surgery typically alleviates pain and eliminates most symptoms.

If you suffer from hip pain, don’t ignore it. Atlantic Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine offers treatments–both surgical and non-surgical–that can alleviate hip pain and restore your quality of life. If you think that hip arthroscopy may be right for you, schedule a consultation with Dr. Welch to learn more.

Advances in Hip and Knee Replacement: ‘All About Robotic Surgery’ – An In Person Event with Dr. Morwood

Is hip or knee pain keeping you from the activities you love?
Take the first step towards recovery and learn how robotic assisted joint replacement surgery can improve your quality of life.  Attend this FREE educational event with Dr. Michael Morwood

Advances in Hip and Knee Replacement: ‘All About Robotic Surgery’
Thursday, July 14th, 2022 | 5:30pm – 7:30pm

Sheraton Portland at Sable Oaks
200 Sable Oaks Dr. South Portland, ME 04106
Light refreshments will be provided. 

Scan the QR Code below or click HERE to get your tickets!

Dr. Sastry Leads MAKO Robotics Training at The New England Baptist Hospital

July 2020 – Dr. Akhil Sastry, Board-Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon and provider at Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine recently led a MAKO Robotics training at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. Dr. Sastry was the sole faculty member to facilitate the launch of their MAKO Robotics training program.

As robotic-assisted knee and hip replacement surgeries penetrate Boston’s most elite academic and fellowship programs, Portsmouth’s very own Mako Master Surgeon Akhil Sastry was selected to facilitate the launch at the New England Baptist, one of the most heralded institutions of orthopedics in the country.

To prepare for their first robotic knee surgery in a few weeks, Dr. Sastry trained a total of 8 surgeons in this one-time training session and has been invited back to provide additional training to another group of surgeons on August 6, 2020.

Dr. Sastry provided hands-on training and proctoring on how to perform this innovative and cutting-edge procedure. Dr. Sastry was not only one of the first surgeons to perform a robotic-assisted knee replacement in the world in 2017, in addition, he continues to teach and advance robotic concepts with joint replacements nationally. He has been selected to Chair these programs on many occasions and has trained over 100 surgeons from across the country.

Schedule a consultation with Dr. Sastry.

All About Robotic Surgery – Free Webinar – July 8th, 2020

Please join us on Zoom for another FREE virtual webinar with Dr. Michael Morwood on Wednesday, July 8, 2020, from 5:30-6:30pm.

Dr. Morwood will discuss common causes for hip and knee pain and advances in robotic assisted joint replacements that can help you get back to doing what you love. There will be a brief Q & A session following the presentation. If you’re experiencing joint pain, you won’t want to miss this FREE event.

Topics will include understanding joint paint, your treatment options, joint replacement surgery and recovery expectations.

**Registration is required to attend this webinar, to register please click HERE.

Atlantic Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine