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.

Learn more about Advances in Knee Replacements »

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...

Learn more about Anterior Hip »

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.

Learn more about Outpatient Joint Replacement »

Sports Medicine in Portland, Oregon

Sports medicine is a branch of orthopedics that treats orthopedic injuries in a way that gets athletes back to the playing field quickly and safely. Because of the demanding nature of competitive sports, athletes need effective treatment options that heal the joint quickly, in a way that returns the athlete to their previous levels of activity.

High-intensity athletes, including those that play basketball, football, or baseball, have a higher propensity of injuring the knee or shoulder. The most common orthopedic injuries treated by sports medicine specialists include ligament tears, such as ACL tears of the knee, and shoulder injuries, such as rotator cuff tears. Utilizing a minimally invasive approach to treating these conditions and many others, orthopedic surgeons such as Dr. Ballard can treat patients experiencing pain and discomfort and get them back to the sports they enjoy.

Anatomy of the Knee

The knee is comprised of three main bones: the femur (thighbone), the tibia (shinbone), and the patella (kneecap). The femur connects to the tibia to create a hinge joint, with the patella acting as a protective covering in front of the knee. Ligaments attach to the joint and provide additional support and stabilization. Two collateral ligaments (Medial Collateral Ligament, Lateral Collateral Ligament) run along the sides of the knee and limit sideways motion. An additional ligament, known as the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL), attaches to the tibia and the femur inside the joint and limits the knee’s forward range of motion. If the joint is pulled beyond its capabilities, its components can become damaged, causing significant pain, immobility, and discomfort.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tears of the Knee

The ACL becomes damaged when the knee is stretched beyond its means, and is typically sustained during athletic play or traumatic blows to the knee. When pivoting or landing from a jump, the knee can twist beyond its normal range of motion, causing the ligament to ‘snap’. ACL tear sufferers will report their knee giving out from underneath them, causing intense pain and swelling. An ACL tear will sideline an athlete for weeks, making them immobile and unable to move the knee without severe pain and discomfort.

ACL Tear Treatment: Knee Arthroscopy

ACL tears usually require surgery to restore functionality and relieve the patient of pain. ACL reconstruction surgery, performed arthroscopically, effectively allows athletes to return to play in a matter of weeks. Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical solution that utilizes fiber-optics to give the surgeon a clear view of the joint from within. During an arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision to insert the ‘arthroscope’, a fiber-optic camera that sends imaging to a monitor in the operating room. The surgeon will then make a second incision for the operating instruments to perform the reconstruction.

Anatomy of the Shoulder

The shoulder is a complex joint, formed by the intersection of three main bones: the clavicle (collarbone), the scapula (shoulder blade), and the humerus (upper arm bone). The head of the humerus rests within a cavity in the scapula, known as the glenoid fossa. These two bones form a ball-and-socket joint, known as the ‘glenohumeral joint’, which is commonly referred to as ‘shoulder joint’.

Because the glenoid is a shallow cavity, a fibrous rim of tissue known as the labrum lines the joint to deepen the socket. The labrum stabilizes the shoulder joint, and allows the humeral head to move in a wide range of motion within the glenoid cavity.

Attaching to the shoulder is the rotator cuff, a set of four muscles that provide strength and support for the glenohumeral joint. The rotator cuff is activated during upper arm motions, such as lifting the arm or throwing a ball. The rotator cuff attaches the humerus to the shoulder blade, and helps keep the humeral head inside of its socket.

Sports Injuries of the Shoulder

Whenever one of the shoulder components becomes damaged, pain and limited function occur. Commonly, repetitive upper arm motions in sports cause damage to the rotator cuff and the labrum; however, natural degeneration can also wear down these tissues and muscles. Damage to the shoulder components can eventually lead to osteoarthritis of the shoulder joint, a more severe condition that may require total shoulder replacement surgery.

Treatment for Shoulder Injuries

Before diagnosing a labral tear or rotator cuff tear, Dr. Ballard will perform a series of strength tests to determine the root cause of the condition. Imaging tests may also be used to confirm the presence of a muscle or tissue tear.

If damage to either of these components is found, the shoulder can be treated either conservatively or surgically, depending on the nature of the damage. Non-surgical treatment revolves around rest, activity modification, NSAID (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug) treatment, and physical therapy. Additionally, cortisone steroid injections directly into the joint can help relieve pain.

If conservative treatments have failed to alleviate pain, rotator cuff tears and labral tears can be treated arthroscopically. Similar to knee arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive approach to surgery that provides potential benefits, including reduced post-operative recovery period, smaller incision, reduced scarring, and less blood loss during the operation.

Find out more about shoulder arthroscopy »

Sports Injury Treatment in Portland, OR

ROC Orthopedics is committed to excellence by pledging to provide the highest quality of orthopedic care possible. As a fellowship-trained surgeon, Dr. Ballard is skilled in minimally invasive surgery, and has treated countless patients with sports injuries and musculoskeletal pain.

Learn more about the Oregon City, OR practice and how to schedule an appointment »