Healthier Together

Winter 2017 issue
 
     
Back on the trail

Back on the trail

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State-of-the-art procedure renews hiker’s knees so he can return to the outdoors

At age 65, Redmond Manierre lives a more active lifestyle than most people in their mid-30s. He mountain bikes through his town of The Plains, Virginia, at least twice a week. He has hiked the Grand Canyon and participated in National Outdoor Leadership School. Recently, he decided to take up mountain climbing.

But what makes it all the more impressive is that a decade ago, Manierre was beginning to feel the effects of an arthritic condition in his knees. They had deteriorated to the point where there was very little tissue between the knee bones. While he was still able to participate in some outdoor activities, Manierre saw the writing on the wall and felt he needed to do something before the arthritic condition brought his active lifestyle to a halt.

“When I would go backpacking, it was uncomfortable enough to take a lot of the joy out of the experience,” he said. On a whim, he attended a presentation at his local community center by W. Bartley Hosick, MD, an orthopedic physician at Northern Virginia Orthopaedic Specialists. The presentation changed his life.

Finding an answer

Dr. Hosick was speaking about a relatively new procedure he specialized in — MAKOplasty surgery, a robotic-assisted partial knee replacement. It’s a much less invasive procedure than a full knee replacement.

“For many, the arthritic condition is too advanced for this surgery,” said Dr. Hosick. He adds that patients can’t be excessively overweight, can’t be smokers or have poorly controlled diabetes, and need to have a desire to be active again. Luckily, Manierre checked all of the boxes, and he elected to have the surgery.

The signs that Manierre made the right decision were present from the moment he entered the operating room. “The operating nurse told me, ‘Oh, you have Dr. Hosick — he’s just absolutely meticulous about what he gets done,’ so I knew I was in good hands,” said Manierre. “Then, [Dr. Hosick] took as much time as was necessary to answer all of my questions, to give me a perfectly clear idea of what he was going to do.”

Rapid recovery

After a brief recovery period, Manierre quickly felt like he had his knees back. Unlike full knee replacements, the MAKOplasty procedure preserves all of the patient’s knee ligaments, and reconstructs the areas around them. “It feels like a much more normal knee to the patient,” Dr. Hosick said. Within six months, Manierre was back to hiking, and even took on his biggest challenge yet: the Grand Canyon.

For Dr. Hosick, Manierre was the “poster child” for how MAKOplasty surgery can repair the knees without a lot of pain and allow the patient to return to the lifestyle he enjoyed.

“Our goal of surgery is to improve the quality of the patient’s life,” said Dr. Hosick. “Whatever surgery we do, we want to restore an active, pain-free lifestyle. The greatest reason people delay surgery is the fear of pain, and MAKOplasty is a much less painful, less invasive surgery that gives patients back their lifestyles, like Mr. Manierre’s — which is very active.”

Manierre, who didn’t take up mountain climbing until after the surgery, wasn’t shy to sing Dr. Hosick’s praises. “I have absolute confidence in him. He was an absolute pleasure to deal with,” he said. “He has, for lack of a better word, the best bedside manner of any physician I’ve ever met.”

With the highly specialized and advanced procedure, Dr. Hosick was able to get Manierre back on the hiking trail. He has done the same for dozens of other patients, and if you find yourself with an arthritic condition in your knees, he may be able to do the same for you.

Dr. Hosick will host a hip and knee pain treatment seminar on Feb. 15, 6:30 to 8 p.m, at Novant Health UVA Health System Prince William Medical Center’s medical office building 1. Get details or register at NovantHealthUVA.org/classes.

More options than MAKOplasty

For patients who aren’t candidates for MAKOplasty or have issues that require other treatments, Novant Health UVA Health System’s orthopedics and sports medicine services offer a range of options with a focus on the patient experience.

“Our patients get a lot of one-on-one attention,” said Elisabeth Robinson, MD, orthopedic surgeon at UVA Orthopedics Culpeper.

“Our physicians and clinical team are dedicated to getting our patients back to the activities they love,” Dr. Robinson said. “For example, we offer an educational learning program called Joint Camp that patients attend prior to joint replacement to help them prepare for their surgery and manage their recovery. This specialized care and team approach lead to faster recovery times with improved satisfaction and outcomes.”

To learn more about Novant Health UVA Health System’s orthopedic and sports medicine services, visit NovantHealthUVA.org.