Advances in Knee Replacements

This new design allows surgeons to preserve the important central ligaments of the knee called the anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments. This design should allow a knee replacement to move, respond, and feel more like a normal knee.

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The Anterior Hip

Patients are being told by both surgeons and orthopedic implant companies that Anterior Hip Replacement approach offers something unique and different compared to other approaches. This is a flatly untrue, unscientifically supported myth...

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Outpatient Joint Replacement

With Outpatient Joint Replacement Surgery, patients are able to return home the same day as the procedure. Patients also begin physical therapy within hours of surgery.

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Arthritis Treatment FAQ

The leading cause of joint pain, arthritis is a hindering and painful condition that can greatly reduce the quality of life for those affected by it. Contact Dr. Ballard for information about arthritis treatment options.

  1. What is osteoarthritis?
  2. What is rheumatoid arthritis?
  3. How is early stage arthritis treated?
  4. When is joint replacement surgery recommended?
  5. Are minimally invasive techniques used to treat arthritis?

1. What is osteoarthritis?

Osteoarthritis, also known as “wear and tear” arthritis, is a degenerative joint disease that can affect any joint in the body and is the most common form of arthritis. Most frequently affecting the hip and knee joints, osteoarthritis causes the protective cartilage surrounding the bones of the affected joint to wear away, resulting in an increase in the amount of friction between bones during movement.

Several factors can contribute to the development of osteoarthritis, including prior joint injury, obesity, and pre-existing bone deformities. In addition, patients with a family history of the disease, those over the age of 50, and female patients are at a higher risk of developing this condition.

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2. What is rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the protective cartilage surrounding joint components. Patients between the ages of 40 and 60, middle-aged women, and patients with a family history of the disease have a higher chance of suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.

While most frequently affecting the smaller joints in the body, such as the joints in the hands, rheumatoid arthritis can also develop in the larger, weight-bearing joints, such as the hips and knees. Inflammation will usually occur in the corresponding joints on both sides of the body, such as both the left and right knee joints, and may cause severe pain, stiffness, swelling, and possible numbness.

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3. How is early stage arthritis treated?

While there is no cure for arthritis, patients can take precautions and use recommended conservative treatments to help slow the progression of the disease and manage pain symptoms. During the early stages of arthritis, Dr. Ballard will often recommend a treatment regimen to decrease swelling, inflammation, and pain symptoms, that will often include:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Dieting
  • Rest
  • Altering of hot and cold compresses on the affected joints
  • Activity level modification
In addition, Dr. Ballard will often recommended that patients begin attending physical therapy sessions and complete at home strengthen exercises, to help strengthen joint muscles and decrease pain symptoms, as well as increase or maintain joint range of motion and flexibility.

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Joint replacement surgery is recommended for patients suffering from advanced arthritis, who are no longer able to manage pain symptoms using conservative treatments, have lost the majority of joint mobility, or are unable to complete required work-related activities. Dr. Ballard specializes in total joint replacement, with a primary focus on total knee and total hip replacement.

To determine if joint replacement surgery is in the patient’s best interest, Dr. Ballard will:

  • Review the patient’s medical history, including both general health and specific injury symptoms
  • Complete physical tests to measure joint alignment, mobility, and strength
  • Performing an x-ray, MRI, and/or blood tests to determine the extent of bone damage

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5. Are minimally invasive techniques used to treat arthritis?

Yes, due to the various potential benefits of minimally invasive surgery, Dr. Ballard will often use minimally invasive techniques to treat arthritic joint damage. Minimally invasive techniques, such as arthroscopy, are commonly used during total hip replacement, total knee replacement, and partial knee resurfacing procedures.

By using these techniques during surgery, Dr. Ballard is able to repair joint damage with decreased disruption to the surrounding muscle and tissue. As a result, patients often experience less pain and scarring, as well as a quicker return to their favorite activities.

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