NEW PRODUCT APPROVED FOR SURGERY HOLDS PROMISE FOR ARTHRITIS SUFFERERS.
ONS orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon, Dr. Mark Yakavonis, was a guest today on Healthy Frontiers, a White Plains community television program hosted by Dr. Louis Bisogni. Dr. Yakavonis discussed a significant new development in the treatment of big toe arthritis that has the future potential to alleviate arthritis pain in larger joints in the body. Dr. Yakavonis and Michael Clain, MD, also of ONS, are among the few orthopedic foot and ankle surgeons in the country who offer this option to their patients.
The new synthetic cartilage implant was approved as a treatment for painful arthritis in the joint of the big toe in July, 2016, but Dr. Yakavonis explained that it has been a highly effective treatment in Canada, Europe and Brazil since 2002. The implant, called Cartiva, is made of saline and a bio-compatible polymer that is similar in consistency to a contact lens and is the size and shape of a No. 2 pencil eraser. The surgical procedure takes about 30 minutes to complete. The implant is inserted through a tiny incision between the bones metatarsophalangeal or MTP joint, where the natural cartilage has worn away.
Dr. Yakavonis named a few benefits for patients over conventional treatments. For instance, unlike the metal materials used in traditional MTP joint replacement, this implant is different. The implant is tolerated by the body’s immune system. This will reduce the risk of inflammation or rejection. And it’s unlike fusion surgery, which fuses the two bones in the big toe together to eliminate the painful bone-on-bone rubbing. This product is flexible and allows for the return of full range of motion in the joint.
Recovery from the implant surgery is relatively easy, when compared to other foot surgical procedures. Following the ambulatory procedure, patients are sent home with their foot in a soft wrap. While patients should rest with the foot on a pillow as much as possible while the toe heals, they are able to put some weight on the foot for balance when walking. There is no need for crutches or a scooter to get around.
According to Dr. Yakavonis, this type of implant his being researched for use in larger joints such as the knee. Down the road, he said, the potential for arthritis relief for joints all over the body is limitless. It is good news for the nearly 54 million people in the United States who are suffering from some form of arthritis.
Dr. Yakavonis said neither he nor ONS has any commercial interest in this product. “It’s just an amazing option to relieve my patients from pain and I am thrilled to be able to offer it to them.”
Further, Healthy Frontiers airs on White Plains Channel 76 and Verizon Channel 45. It will air on Thursdays at 6:30 pm and Friday’s at 10:30 am. This segment should begin broadcasting next week.
ONS Sports medicine specialists Dr. Marc Kowalsky and Dr. Katherine Vadasdi have each been guests on the program in the past, along with hand and wrist surgeon Dr. Wei, hip and knee replacement specialist Dr. Jonathan Berliner. Watch those interviews.
Dr. Louis Bisogni is the head chiropractor for the New York Yankees and has private practices in White Plains and Somers, NY.