AOA Orthopedic Specialists
Joseph M. Berman, MD
Dr. Joseph Berman’s 37-year medical practice experience in Arlington has opened up new opportunities for his patients. He and his staff of nurses and therapists are all members of The International Cartilage Repair Society. His office and Arlington Orthopedic Associates have been designated an international teaching facility by the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee and Orthopedic Surgery. As one of only a few designated centers of excellence in joint restoration in the US, the Joint Preservation Center, of which Dr. Berman is the founder and medical director, now has the opportunity to offer patients new research and techniques in joint maintenance and repair.
Dr. Berman recently completed a select FDA study and trial of a new artificial meniscus implant – the NuSurface. One of only 10 centers in the USA to offer an artificial meniscus, the “C-shaped” shock absorber in the knee, for patients who’ve lost their medial meniscus. The device, easily implantable as an outpatient procedure, can save years of wear on the joint and decrease or significantly postpone the need for future surgery. Enrollment has now been completed and data is being collated to present to the FDA. This may be an exciting answer to the question many patients ask “what are you going to put back in” after the medial meniscus is removed.
Having completed one study, Dr. Berman has embarked on another FDA study. Using natural sea coral plugs, the study will show that articular cartilage can be encouraged to grow toward the coral plugs. This is one the first studies of joint and cartilage restoration in which the FDA is allowing us to treat osteoarthritis. All studies prior have addressed injury to cartilage; this study may allow cartilage and bone growth which may preclude the indication of partial or total knee replacement. A potential exciting alternative to arthritis treatment.
Lastly, there is genuine excitement about a very new option for patients with osteoarthritis. Available currently, Cryopreserved Human Amniotic Suspension Allograft has shown anti-inflammatory characteristics and may have the potential to help grow or stabilize articular cartilage through increase in natural growth factors. These stem cells, harvested from human placenta and umbilical cords, have shown some early evidence that this injection may decrease progression of the arthritic disease. A single injection into your knee done in the office, can offer relief from painful arthritis for as much as a year. That is twice the usual amount of time that many of the viscosupplements (rooster comb) or other preparations can boast. It can be repeated yearly if indicated.
Medicine is rapidly advancing. Many innovative techniques in arthroscopy and joint restoration did not exist when he started his practice. As new procedures become available, Dr. Berman is on the forefront of evaluating these options for his patients. He has created an informative website, JosephBermanMD.com, which informs patients about pathology, injury, and treatment of knee and shoulder problems. “The more the patient understands, the more realistic the expectations and the better the results,” he said. “The future of medicine in the USA will be dependent upon allowing many new and perhaps revolutionary techniques to become part of routine medical decisions.”