Frequently Asked Questions
By Steven Meier
At Meier Orthopedic Sports and Regenerative Medicine, we work hard to make sure our patients understand everything they need to know about their diagnosis and treatment options.
Please take a moment to look over the frequently asked questions below, and if you have a question that has not been answered, feel free to contact us today at (310) 777-7845, or you can e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Q: What is joint preservation?
A: Joint preservation refers to the concept and process of preserving the body’s natural anatomy and biological structures over replacing joint tissues with manufactured prostheses. Joint preservation is an alternative to traditional joint replacement surgery. It is focused on the treatment of osteoarthritis and other types of cartilaginous and bony joint damage using a variety of approaches, including:
- cartilage restoration
- meniscus repair
- corrective osteotomy
- ligament reconstruction
- meniscus transplantation
- physical therapy rehabilitation
- biological/healing enhancements
- injection therapy
- oral nutrition supplementation
Q: What is cartilage regeneration?
A: Cartilage regeneration is a special process that causes regeneration of cartilage within a joint using surgery which replaces cartilage that has been lost through time or trauma. Not everyone may be a good candidate for this process, however, which is why it is essential for an expert surgeon to examine and evaluate anyone wishing to complete this process. It also requires a long period of physical therapy rehabilitation and commitment to see the process through to the end.
Q: What is meniscus repair?
A: The meniscus is a wedge-shaped piece of cushioning cartilage within the knee joint. Many times, when a tear develops, the piece of torn tissue needs to be removed, as it will not heal itself. However, sometimes, if the meniscus is torn in a certain area only, the torn piece can be repaired instead of removed. The rehabilitation from this process is different than if the piece were merely removed. The recovery period is a little longer, and patients must be very careful while ambulating for the first several weeks.
Q: What is meniscus transplantation?
A: Meniscus transplantation can be an option for those who are missing a large part of a meniscus inside the knee. Sometimes, previous injury and surgeries have resulted in the removal of torn and damaged meniscus cartilage. Without the protective cushioning, the area of the missing meniscus allows that part of the joint bones to rub together, creating pain and further injury to the knee. Meniscus transplantation is a method of restoring a functioning piece of meniscus tissue to the deficient area. Usually this tissue is obtained from a donor and inserted in entirety into the knee.
Q: What is corrective osteotomy?
A: Sometimes, joint bones become shifted out of their natural alignment resulting from trauma or degeneration. Because the physical forces acting on the joint are abnormal, it causes abnormal wearing and typically a lot of pain. One alternative to consider in some cases is corrective osteotomy. Osteotomy can help relieve pain and restore better anatomical alignment in several different orthopedic conditions where the bones are malaligned, such as patellofemoral tracking problems or unicompartmental arthritis.
Q: What is osteoarthritis and who is most at risk?
A: Osteoarthritis is a type of cartilage degeneration arising from trauma or use over time with age. Some symptoms of osteoarthritis are: joint pain, tenderness, stiffness, and bone spurs forming around the joint. Some risk factors include: age, joint injury from trauma, obesity, and heredity.
Q: What is physical therapy rehabilitation?
A: Physical therapy rehabilitation is a supervised physical therapy program designed specifically for the patient and the patient’s injury/condition by licensed physical therapists. It is one of the most important aspects of helping to restore the body to proper function after injury or surgery.
Q: What is injection therapy?
A: Injection therapy is sometimes used within the field of orthopedic surgery in order to treat inflammation and pain resulting from joint degeneration. Injection therapy can be used to treat conditions such as Achilles tendinitis, ACL injuries, golfer’s elbow, biceps tendinitis, ligament injuries, osteoarthritis, rotator cuff damage, and more. At the LA Joint Preservation Center we may offer a variety of injection therapies to help relieve pain and promote healing. Depending on the type of injury to be treated, these injection therapies can include platelet rich plasma treatments and/or hyaluronic acid injections.
Q: What is platelet rich plasma and how is it made?
A: Platelet rich plasma is a type of injection therapy that uses a higher concentration of platelets than found in normal blood. This concentration of platelets helps joint injuries heal faster than normal. Platelet rich plasma is made by drawing blood from the patient then preparing it in a special machine, which includes a centrifuge. Finally, the platelet rich plasma is injected into the area of the injury. This concentrated dose of a patient’s own platelets and growth factors can potentially lead to a quicker healing process.
Q: How do I know which oral supplements are the right choice to treat my joint pain?
A: The best way to determine which oral supplements – or other treatments – may help treat your joint pain is to contact an orthopedic surgeon for evaluation.
Q: What type of doctor should I see regarding joint pain and joint preservation?
A: Orthopedic surgeons such as Steven W. Meier, MD are trained in treating the entire musculoskeletal system, including the shoulder, knee, elbow, hip, and ankle joints.
Contact the Best Los Angeles Orthopedic Doctor
Do you still have questions about different types of joint preservation treatments and procedure possibilities? We can help you get answers to all your questions or schedule an appointment with a Los Angeles orthopedic surgeon for orthopedic services and sports medicine. You can call us today at (310) 777-7845 or use our online contact form. We look forward to hearing from you!
Next, learn about arthritis and joint degeneration.