Joint Reconstruction & Preservation

Joint preservation is the reconstruction and repair of the natural bones, cartilage, and ligaments of the joint using advanced arthroscopic (minimally invasive) techniques rather than removing the entire joint and replacing it with an implant (joint replacement). The board-certified orthopaedic surgeons at Orthopaedic Specialists focus on relieving your pain with surgery that preserves your natural joint, giving you a quicker recovery with less pain and a shorter hospital stay.

Joint preservation can be performed on the hip, knee, ankle, or shoulder. Options include soft-tissue repairs or bone and cartilage grafting. The goal of joint preservation surgery is to improve how the natural bones work together by removing and/or repairing the abnormal tissues that destroy the cartilage, either from within the joint or from within the bone or both.

Hip Reconstruction & Preservation

Hip pain can be caused by a variety of conditions or injuries. Hip arthritis is a common cause of pain, but this may be an indication that there is an underlying problem with the structure of the hip joint. The hip joint is comprised of a ball (the head of the femur) and socket (the acetabulum), and either of these body parts could have structural anomalies that result in pain.

Problems with the acetabulum may arise with a socket that is too shallow, too deep, or misshapen. Symptoms may include increased pain with increased activity, a feeling of dislocation in the hip joint, and pain in the upper buttocks, lower back, or groin. Patients with these structural problems may be good candidates for hip preservation surgery.

Recovery from this minimally invasive surgery typically includes six to eight weeks on crutches, eight weeks of physical therapy, and complete recovery within six to nine months.

Knee Reconstruction & Preservation

Our physicians offer alternatives to partial or total knee replacement surgery, often for patients who are too young for joint replacement. The following procedures can offer patients a faster recovery with minimal pain and shortened hospital stay:

  • Chondroplasty is an arthroscopic surgical procedure used to correct uneven cartilage surfaces or to remove loose fragments due to damage in the knee joint. The procedure causes scar tissue to form, which helps to improve the function of the knee joint and relieve pain.
  • Microfracture is an arthroscopic surgical procedure that creates tiny holes in the bone. The bone heals to develop a layer of cartilage to fill in cartilage defects.
  • Osteochondral autologous transfer system is a procedure that removes a small plug of your own healthy bone and cartilage and then transfers it to the site of the cartilage defect.
  • Osteochondral allograft is a procedure that transplants bone and cartilage from a donor into the affected area of your knee. This procedure may benefit patients who have large defects but may be limited due to the supply of donor grafts.

Shoulder Reconstruction & Preservation

If you feel your shoulder has increased stiffness or pain after activity, you may be experiencing osteoarthritis, or a deterioration of cartilage at the site of the shoulder joint. When this cartilage wears away, your joint becomes exposed and you may feel pain from the bone-to-bone contact.

Before undergoing a shoulder replacement surgery, speak with Dr. Tuvi Mendel to determine if you are a candidate for rotator cuff repair, shoulder resurfacing, or shoulder preservation surgery. These treatments are designed to return you back to your normal activities with minimal pain and faster recovery.

You may be a possible candidate for joint preservation surgery if you answer yes to the questions below.

  • Are you unable to enjoy your regular activities?
  • Does physical therapy seem to not bring you relief?
  • Is your pain waking you up at night?
  • Have you had joint surgery, but your joint remains in pain?
  • Are you still taking pain medication, or have you increased your pain medication?
  • Have you been told you are not a candidate for joint replacement?

The experts in joint preservation at Orthopaedic Specialists can speak with you about your symptoms, activity goals, and treatment options.