Artificial Meniscus Offers Patients Real Relief

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital February 18, 2016

The artificial meniscus stays in place – even when squatting – without being attached to bones or any other surrounding tissue.

The artificial meniscus stays in place without being attached to bones or any other surrounding tissue.

Injury to the meniscus is one of the most common knee-related ailments and is often accompanied by pain, swelling, and difficulty with knee function.  Many patients with this problem will be able to regain normal function through a variety of well-known treatments. For those who aren’t that fortunate, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Andreas Gomoll, is working to offer an alternate solution.

Dr. Gomoll recently became the first physician in New England to perform a new type of knee surgery that replaces a patient’s damaged meniscus with an artificial implant made from synthetic polymers (plastics). The procedure is being offered to certain patients as part of a clinical trial studying the experimental device’s effectiveness at relieving pain and restoring function in the knee.

The artificial meniscus is inserted into a patient’s knee through a small incision (two to three inches). Because of its special design, featuring a thick rim and a thinner center, the device stays in place – even when squatting – without being attached to bones or any other surrounding tissue. Over time, the implant molds itself to the patient, creating a secure, comfortable shock absorber for the knee. This design is a significant advance from a similar approach that uses a metal device, which, due to its hardness, doesn’t provide shock absorption or mold itself to the patient’s anatomy.

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Osteoarthritis: Causes, Risk Factors, and Treatment

Posted by Brigham and Women's Hospital July 15, 2014

Rheumatologist Antonios Aliprantis, MD, PhD, diagnoses and treats patients with osteoarthritis.

Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis in the United States, affecting roughly 12 percent of Americans aged 25 – 74. It’s a chronic joint disease that breaks down cartilage in the neck, lower back, knees, hips, shoulders, and/or fingers. Common symptoms are pain, stiffness, and limited joint movement.

What is the difference between rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis both cause joint pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion, but the two diseases are distinct in their root cause and treatment.

Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune condition where a person’s own immune system attacks their joints, causing inflammation. Rheumatoid arthritis typically affects many joints simultaneously, especially in the hands, wrists, and feet, and is treated with medications to suppress the immune response.

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