News Archive (2012)


New innovative treatment is cutting pain for hip surgery

Popping the bone out of the socket, huge incisions that leave huge scars and a lot of down-time, is what many hip-replacemnt-arizona surgery patients have to go through.

A new innovative treatment is cutting pain and recovery time with much smaller cuts.

She used to run 26.2 miles at a time, but recently, Meghan Krein couldn't even do this without excruciating pain.

Meghan Krein, Runner, explains her first thoughts when she heard she needed surgery, "You know the worst case scenario, going through my mind, and I might never be able to do this again."

She was suffering abnormal contact between the bones of her hip. It can tear the labrum, soft tissue that cushions the joint like a gasket. Doctor Matthew Hansen of the CORE Institute specializes in helping people with the painful problem.

Matthew L. Hansen, MD, Orthopedic Sports Medicine Specialist, The CORE Institute, explains what the problem was for Meghan, "In somebody like Meghan, when the socket was a little bit too deep and rotated toward the back, this predisposed her to getting pinching of the labrum, particularly when she tried to flex her hip."

Surgical repair used to mean a large eight-inch incision, even dislocating the hip. The latest arthroscopic technology allows surgeons to trim bone and repair labral tears through a few one-centimeter incisions. Depending on the patient, recovery time varies from four to 12 months. Bouncing back from traditional hip replacement surgery can take up to 18 months.

Dr. Hansen, MD, explains how big of a breakthrough this procedure, "So, this is a tremendous breakthrough from a patient's perspective because the recovery is so much quicker."

Meghan was on a stationary bike just hours after surgery and walking on crutches the same day. Now she's pedaling fast toward a full recovery.

Krein, explains how happy she is with the surgery, "I could do cartwheels. I'm so thrilled!"

This procedure isn't just for adults. Doctors perform hip arthroscopy on patients in their teens and younger.

It's typically covered by insurance and generally gives patients permanent relief from their pain.



BACKGROUND: The labrum is a unique structure found in the hip. It lines the edge or rim of the hip socket. The shape and function of the labrum is similar to a bumper cushion on a pool table. The shape of the labrum is triangular in cross-section. It acts as a cushion between the ball and socket of the hip joint during flexion of the hip and it holds the thighbone (femur) in place. The labrum is filled with nerve fibers that make tears in the labrum very painful. (SOURCE: www.dukehealth.org)

CAUSES: A hip labral tear involves the labrum. Labral tears typically occur from: repetitive motion; osteoarthritis, trauma, or it may be caused by a birth defect. (SOURCE: www.dukehealth.org)

SYMPTOMS: Some labral tears have no signs or symptoms. However, when symptoms are present, they include: radiating pain in the hip and groin, a catching or locking sensation in the hip joint, stiffness in the joint, or a limited range of motion. (SOURCE: www.dukehealth.org)

RISK FACTORS: People with pre-existing hip problems are at a higher risk of experiencing a hip labral tear and also people who participate in sports or other activities that require repeated twisting or pivoting motions. (SOURCE: www.mayoclinic.com)

TREATMENT: The level of treatment depends upon the severity of the condition. Some patients recover in only a few weeks using conservative treatments. However, patients with severe labral tearing may require surgery. One or a combination of these treatments may be used: rest and activity modification, medication, physical therapy, or surgery may be needed to repair or remove the torn portion of the labrum. (SOURCE: www.dukehealth.org, www.mayoclinic.com)

LATEST BREAKTHROUGHS: Hip arthroscopy is an excellent solution for relieving hip pain. The surgery repairs the damaged hip by separating the ball and socket in the hip joint. The procedure is an outpatient procedure that requires small leg incisions and promotes accelerated rehabilitation. For patients younger than 40, who have good cartilage and healthy joints, it is a great solution for treating hip pain in a minimally invasive manner. For patients over 40, who have the preservation of articular cartilage, arthroscopy can provide significant relief for the specific conditions. Recovery time for arthroscopic surgery is much less than the traditional procedure. People who have this surgery can return to their normal activities in four months to a year, unlike with the traditional surgery which could have patients out for a year and a half. (SOURCE: www.dukehealth.org)

Retrieved from: http://www.wndu.com

Balancing Act: Many factors can affect your stability

By Connie Midey, The Republic | azcentral.com

Her head leading the way, Helen O'Neill used to hurry from place to place. And then she'd fall. 

Improving stability Balance training has been shown to reduce the risk of falling by almost 50 percent, Gilbert physician Mona Mhatre of the CORE Institute says. These tips from Mhatre and the National Institutes of Health may prevent a life-threatening fracture, head trauma or other fall-related injury in your later years:

  • See your doctor. "Because there can be so many causes for poor balance, you want to find out if the cause is something that can be treated," Mhatre says.
  • Do strength exercises. Consult your doctor or a physical therapist to plan a safe workout program. "Strengthening the muscles in your lower extremities helps to support and stabilize your body and keep it more flexible," she says.
  • Do balance exercises. "Even if the exercises don't solve the root problem, they can reduce the risk of falling," Mhatre says. In addition to ordinary walking, these activities aid balance:
  • Tandem walking. Place one foot directly in front of the other while walking -- in other words, put your left foot down so the heel touches the front of your right foot, and so on.
  • Changing your stance. While brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, stand with one foot in front of the other or with both feet side by side and touching.
  • Flamingo stand. Stand on one leg, then the other, for a few seconds at a time. Until you're sure of your stability, hold a countertop or the back of a sturdy chair while trying this.
  • Water aerobics or water walking. These are gentle on the joints, making them good choices for people with arthritis.
  • Tai chi. The slow, graceful movements of this exercise promote balance and self-confidence. Dance can help in the same way.

"I was top-heavy," she says, laughing at the image. "My body was moving forward, but my feet were not coming with me. I'd trip over nothing." Now the Phoenix woman takes time to stretch each morning before getting out of bed, then pulls her head back, stands up straight and leads with her legs instead of the top half of her body throughout her daily activities. "My balance is so much better now," she says. O'Neill will be 81 in April, but it's not just age or inattention that cause balance to decline and falls to become more likely. Physician Mona Mhatre, a specialist in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the CORE (Center for Orthopedic Research and Education) Institute, says medical issues sometimes alter the body's ability to maintain equilibrium. These can include heart disease, diabetes, certain medicines and variations in blood pressure. "A number of body systems have to work together for us to maintain balance," Mhatre says. "If there's a disorder in the visual system, in hearing, in proprioception -- our body's sense of where it is in space -- any of these things can cause balance problems." In older people, muscle and joint weakness also may contribute, making even routine daily activities difficult to perform safely and causing quality of life to suffer. "Balance problems are the leading cause of falls," Mhatre says. "And falls are the leading cause of hospital admissions for non-fatal injuries." The term "non-fatal" fails to convey how serious a fall can be, especially for people 65 and older. "A large percentage don't survive once they've had a hip fracture," she says. "They become debilitated and bedridden, and that increases their risk for other problems."

Retreived from: http://www.usatoday.com/USCP/PNI/Features/2012-03-09-PNI0309liv-examine-balancePNIBrd_ST_U.htm

The CORE Institute Offers New Procedure to Save Aching Backs Without Losing a Disc

The CORE Institute®, Center for Orthopedic Research and Education, has introduced a new, minimally invasive procedure for the treatment of pinched neck nerves called TransCorporal MicroDisectomy or TCMD. Dr. Ali Araghi, an orthopedic spine surgeon with The CORE Institute, is the only surgeon in Arizona currently performing this procedure.

TransCorporal MicroDisectomy (TCMD) is revolutionary in the treatment of pinched nerves. Prior to this procedure, when a nerve root in the neck was pinched, surgeons had to remove an entire disc when relieving the pressure on the nerve. The disc removal left a gap between the two vertebrae (spinal bones), which required a repair using either spinal fusion or an artificial disc. TCMD only removes a part of the patients' disc and leaves the rest of the patients' disc intact. This means patients heal faster following spinal surgery when the repair is made using their own bone.

"After relieving the pressure on the nerve, we take the bone tissue that was removed, along with a synthetic bone implant, which is designed to stay in position and fill in the hole,” Dr. Araghi explains. “The Bone fills in the hole, leaving just your vertebra and disc behind, no artificial discs.” He continues, “Patients can often return to work and normal activity weeks sooner than with fusion or traditional disc replacement although individual results will vary.”

About The CORE Institute
The Center for Orthopedic Research and Education, The CORE Institute, delivers comprehensive orthopedic care, one patient at a time. Their fellowship-trained physicians provided specialized care in the areas of surgical, non-surgical and rehabilitative hip, knee, shoulder, wrist, hand, elbow and foot and ankle procedures including reconstruction. In addition, The CORE Institute is a preferred provider in sports medicine, arthroscopy, fracture management, orthopedic traumatology, complex articular cartilage restoration, orthopedic oncology, comprehensive spine and pain management. The CORE Institute team is dedicated to providing technologically-advanced surgical techniques and rehabilitation in five locations in Arizona. With state-of-the-art research labs, their clinical and research teams are dedicated to pioneering research that expands orthopedic knowledge, products and services.

The CORE Institute Celebrates Seven Years!

We are celebrating a very important milestone in The CORE Institute history…our Seven Year Anniversary! First founded with just a few employees, three providers and a single PA in one clinic, seven years later The CORE Institute has grown to five clinics, four physical therapy locations, three research and development labs and 250+ employees. The CORE Institute continues to fulfill its vision through dedication to excellence in patient care, research, community service and education. The CORE Institute continues to bring the best in class orthopedic care to the Valley and beyond as well as being awarded the 2011 Best Places to Work in the Valley by Phoenix Business Journal. We celebrate our amazing accomplishments, incredible growth and exceptional employees. Happy Anniversary CORE!

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