Tag Archives: arthroscopy

BAD TO THE BONE: Treating Knee Pain

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The knee is a very complex joint with many components making it vulnerable to a variety of injuries. When damaged, it can seriously impact your quality of life. Knee pain is one of the most common reasons people visit an orthopedic physician. Difficulty standing and walking can greatly diminish your sense of independence. The GOOD news is that most collective knee pain problems are treatable.

The CAUSES OF KNEE PAIN are many, including injury and disease. Injuries of the knee commonly seen tend to be damage to the anterior cruciate ligament, or ACL, and the meniscus. There are an estimated 2.5 million sports-related injuries a year just by adolescent athletes alone. A fracture is most often caused by trauma such as a car accident, a fall, or sports contact; the most common broken bone in the knee is the patella, more generally known as the kneecap.

Fast facts on knee injuries:

  • The highest knee injury rates occur in people between the ages of 15 to 24.
  • Sports participation is a high risk factor for knee injuries.
  • 60% of high school sports-related injuries occur in the knee.
  • Female basketball and soccer athletes are as much as 8 times more likely to suffer an ACL injury than a male.
  • Young athletes suffering an ACL injury will have an increased risk of arthritis as they age.

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Avoiding knee injuries:

  • Warm up properly prior to exercising or participating in sports.
  • Wear proper footwear with a good fit.
  • Don’t increase sports or exercise workouts suddenly.
  • Wear knee guards in sports activities.
  • Maintain strong, flexible leg muscles.
  • Always, always, always … Use a seatbelt when driving.

The MOST WIDESPREAD DISEASE affecting the knee is arthritis, which is caused by the gradual wearing-away of cartilage. Primary symptoms are pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee. Currently, there is no “cure” for arthritis, however there are options, both surgical and non-invasive. Depending on the amount of arthritic damage, treating knee pain may often be done without surgery. These options may include one or a combination of physical therapy, weight control, injections, medications, bracing, exercise, and strengthening. When considering knee replacement surgery, the physicians and physical therapists at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates have a wide array of experience and expertise.

Whatever the cause of your knee pain, from sports injury to trauma to arthritis, the 13 physicians at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates are here to help alleviate your discomfort. We have four convenient locations. Browse here to view our physicians and their specialties or call us at 941-951-2663 to make an appointment.

Sources: SOA.md website; MediLexicon International; arthritis.org; webMD

Time Out with Johnny Gibbs, MD

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Our weekly blogs have given us fascinating insight to the more personal side of our SOA physicians. This week we sat down with Johnny Gibbs, MD, a Fellowship Trained, Board Certified Sports Medicine Physician, and learned a bit more about what makes him tick.

What inspired you to become a physician?

I originally started my career as a physical therapist, and learning more about disease processes, I developed a strong interest in medicine.  During my first year as a physical therapist, a young patient of mine, Claire, passed away from what seemed to be medical complications of her disease.  She was a young woman, in her thirties, a single mother, and wonderful person.  I will never forget how helpless I felt over her passing and as a result, was compelled to pursue medicine to help improve patient outcomes.

Why orthopedics?

My original interest in sports medicine and rehabilitation was sparked when I was a patient myself during high school.  That, along with a background in physical therapy, made it an obvious decision for me.

What do you love most about your job?

I love that I’m able to give people their active life back and alleviate their pain.   And, of course, I love the detail and intricacy of operating!

Gibbs with girl in cast   Gibbs surgery

What is your biggest challenge?

Trying to meet patient expectations while dealing with the constantly evolving challenges of the healthcare environment is an enormous task. At times our hands may appear to be temporarily tied as a result of changes in healthcare and insurance. I want patients to know I am their advocate.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a __________________.

That’s easy … If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be a football coach.

Your proudest moment?

Even easier answer … Becoming a father to my children.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled? Why?

Bamberg, Germany, a small picturesque town famous for its smoked beer. Why? It’s delicious!

Any hobbies? Activities?

I love sports, watching ESPN, exercising, golfing, and spending time outdoors with my children.

What’s your next adventure?

My wife and I are going on a European river cruise to celebrate her graduation from dermatolopathology training.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Chocolate chip cookies and preferably Otis Spunkmeyer.

NOTE:  Dr Gibbs is a board certified, fellowship trained orthopedic surgeon at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates with a specialty in sports medicine.  You may read his professional bio by visiting our website or clicking here. SOA has 13 physicians in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offers same day appointments when needed.

INSPIRATION JUST AHEAD — Meet Dr Kim Furman

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The fifth in our series of getting to know our SOA physicians on a personal level features Dr Kim Furman, Fellowship Trained and Board Re-Certified Orthopedic physician.  Dr Furman specializes in hip and knee joint replacements, and there’s an inspirational side of him you may not know.  Read about it here:

What inspired you to become a physician?

Great question but difficult to answer.  Since age 9 while growing up in Brooklyn, I wanted to go into medicine. Perhaps I was influenced by my next door neighbor, who was general physician, as well as my childhood pediatrician, who made house calls, when I was sick.  Surprisingly, my parents never directed me to the medical field but fully supported my decision.

Why orthopedics?

Several factors influenced my decision for Orthopedics.

As a kid, I was always working with my Dad in his basement workshop, building and repairing all sorts of stuff.  I was mechanically inclined and loved working with my hands.

For 7 years, while in college and medical school, I was an operating room technician at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center. I had the opportunity to work with all the surgical specialties.  I was fascinated by reconstructive plastic surgery and this became my initial focus.  During that time I suffered a traumatic knee injury.  A close friend of my family was an orthopedic surgeon.  He took care of my knee injury and had a significant impact on redirecting my focus to orthopedics.

While continuing work at Columbia Presbyterian, I rotated through orthopedics.  It was at that point that my decision for orthopedics was solidified.  I loved all the neat tools that were used.  Working on fixing fractures was just like woodworking I did as a kid and continue to do now.

Unfortunately, I suffered numerous complications from my knee injury and seven surgical procedures later resulted in significant knee arthritis.  My personal experience with my injury, multiple surgeries, and arthritis has given me an inside view of the problems of my patients.  I can empathize easily with them.

What do you love most about your job?       SOAStudio-170

The gratification I get from returning a patient to a pain free life style.

What is your biggest challenge?

The ever changing medical environment (insurance, government intrusion) that has taken away the true art of medicine and has made it a business.

If I weren’t an orthopedic physician I’d be an ________________.

Anthropologist/archaeologist

Your proudest moment? 

The birth of my 2 children.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve travelled?  Why?

China, because of the incredible history and culture developments.

Any hobbies?  Activities?

Woodworking, gardening, fishing and traveling.   I was an avid softball, tennis, and paddleball player before my knee arthritis limited those activities.

What’s your next adventure?

A trip to the Antarctic.

Your guilty pleasure food?

Pepperoni pizza

NOTE:  Dr Kim Furman is  a Fellowship Trained and Board Re-Certified Orthopedic Surgeon. He specializes in the treatment of arthritic knees and hips and has been with Sarasota Orthopedic Associates for 30 years. You may read his medical CV by clicking HERE.  SOA treats both adults and children in four locations (Sarasota, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, and Bradenton) and offers same day appointments when needed. For more about SOA, click HERE, or call 941-951-2663 for an appointment.

YOU’RE GOING TO STICK A CAMERA IN WHERE? The Basics of Ankle Arthroscopy

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You have probably heard of, or know someone who has had, a knee or shoulder arthroscopy or “scope.” What you may not know is that we can also perform arthroscopy of the ankle. This can be a quite useful procedure for some common ailments of the ankle. This is frequently performed as an outpatient procedure with a few small incisions.

During ankle arthroscopy a small incision about ¼” long is made over the front of the ankle. This small incision allows us to place the camera into the ankle joint and see the cartilage covering the tibia, talus and fibula (the bones that make up the ankle joint). We then make a second 1 /4“ incision that allow us to insert a second tool such as a probe or motorized shaver that we can use to assess and clean up damaged tissue. Being able to visualize the ankle joint from the inside out allows us to treat some conditions with much smaller incisions than would be possible otherwise.

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We commonly clean up damaged cartilage or inflammation of the lining of the joint through the ankle scope. We can also perform procedures such as micro-fracture or grafting which can help stimulate healing of damaged cartilage. Recently, we have been using ankle arthroscopy to prepare the ankle joint for fusion by scraping out any remaining cartilage. This has been incredibly helpful because it allows us to perform an ankle fusion procedure through 4 or 5 small incisions instead of 1 or 2 quite large incisions. This has resulted in lower levels of pain and fewer issues with wound healing.

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If you have been having problems with your ankle, whether it is new or quite old, come see me at Sarasota Orthopedic Associates. We have many options both surgical and nonsurgical for getting you back on your feet… back to work… back in the game… back to life.

For an appointment with Dr. Eric James, orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, call 941-951-2663.

For more detailed information on foot and ankle arthroscopy, check out this excellent article at the American Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Society website.

http://www.aofas.org/footcaremd/treatments/Pages/Ankle-Arthroscopy.aspx

happy foot