Medical advancements are improving patient outcomes and the health of patients across the country. Here are some examples of innovations in musculoskeletal treatments and care that our professional team at Watauga Orthopedics would like you to know about.
3D Printing and Bioprinting
3D printing is an incredible technology used in medicine today. Computerized three-dimensional printers can be used to create highly individualized joint components and implants for a wide range of joint replacement surgeries and other reconstructive procedures.
Manufacturers and surgeons collaborate on using strong and customizable metals and resins to form prosthetics that fit the patient’s anatomy perfectly. These components replace an assortment of joint components. With 3D printing, the fit of these impants is perfect the first time, lowering the risk of implant failure and complications.
Additionally, researchers continue to work hard on what they call bioprinting. This lab process uses living body cells to custom-grow joint components in the lab. Excellent component fit and compatibility results can be achieved through bioprinting.
Arthroscopic orthopedic surgeries feature small incisions, less disruption of healthy tissues, less suturing, and faster rehabilitation and recovery. Examples of procedures that can be done with minimally-invasive techniques include carpal tunnel release in the wrist and rotator cuff repair in the shoulder joint.
Many of today’s joint replacement surgeries are accomplished with smaller joint components and innovative methods, such as the reverse shoulder replacement and anterior hip replacement. The newer methods are easier on the patient, producing less post-op pain and faster normalization of function even in complex cases.
Also, our orthopedic surgeons often use 3D CAT scan imaging in their joint replacements procedures. In conjunction with the Mako robotic arm, a surgeon can more precisely place joint components, resulting in better fit and better patient comfort and function postoperatively.
Wearable electronic devices help orthopedic surgeons track patients’ ability to move in real time through their day to day activities. With evidentiary data collected from these devices, doctors can adjust care plans more precisely and understand the progress or setbacks patients experience.
Telemedicine visits, popularized during the COVID-19 pandemic, are a real boon to patients who wish to communicate one-on-one with their providers but also wish to avoid travel for in-clinic consultations. Telehealth may be used for progress check-ups, to evaluate first aid and ongoing treatment needs for acute injuries such as sprains, and prescription refill consultations.
Surgery is not always the best and safest option for many orthopedic patients. Modern regenerative medicine techniques, in conjunction with physical therapy and pain management, help patients manage degenerative conditions, such as osteoarthritis.
For instance, PRP therapy (platelet-rich plasma therapy) uses a patient’s blood platelets in concentrated injection form to stimulate tissue regrowth and reduce painful inflammation. The most common applications of PRP therapy are treatment of tendon and ligament injuries, labral and rotator cuff tears, and osteoarthritis in the knee. Injections are well-tolerated and done on an outpatient basis with no recovery time.
AI gives orthopedic physicians accurate patient data and precise algorithms to use in planning, adjusting, and executing care plans. Algorithms are computer-generated processes that assist healthcare providers in smoother and more reliable decision-making, particularly in complex surgical cases, such as traumatic amputations.
Top Orthopedic Surgeons in Bristol, TN
At Watauga Orthopedics, our board-certified orthopedic specialists strive to use the most up to date and inventive medical techniques to improve patient care and therapeutic outcomes. Combined with unbeatable communication skills and compassion, modern orthopedic innovations make our doctors the best choices for urgent and ongoing therapies, surgeries, and treatment of orthopedic injuries and conditions.
Call today to learn more about how our advanced care can benefit you or a loved one: (423) 282-9011, or schedule a consultation online. We have locations in Bristol, Kingsport, and Johnson City, TN, with 20 doctors and support professionals to serve you.