DANBURY, Conn. -- Rare meniscus transplant surgery is now being performed locally as an outpatient procedure by a Danbury orthopedist and specialist in sports-related injuries.
Dr. Ross Henshaw, a knee and shoulder orthopedic surgeon, recently treated a 16-year-old male patient who, he said, had no meniscus tissue and was facing significant arthritis by his early 20s.
Henshaw, of The Sports Medicine Center at Danbury Orthopedics, said that, in the past, patients needing this type of surgery had to travel outside the region.
The meniscus is a C-shaped disk that cushions the space between the thigh and shin bones, Henshaw said. A torn or damaged meniscus can lead to excessive wear and tear of the cartilage and, eventually, to chronic arthritis.
According to Henshaw, such transplant surgery has been available for 15 years, but the complexity of the procedure and the viability of the knee’s function short-term, without the meniscus, often leads doctors and patients to decide not to use it.
But, he said, the procedure makes sense for younger patients with active lifestyles.
If the patient has healthy cartilage and good alignment to begin with, the procedure can prevent the early onset of arthritis, he said.
“This surgery is for a select group of patients and is not for the general population with a meniscus injury,” Henshaw said. “But for healthy people who need the surgery and would like to recover at home, this is a big advantage.”
Most patients are able to return to normal activities within six months, Henshaw said.
Henshaw performs the procudures at the new, state-of-the-art Western Connecticut Orthopedic Surgical Center, 226 White St., in downtown Danbury.
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