John Drkulec, MD, Joseph Berman, MD, and Mark Kazewych, MD
The Joint Preservation Center (JPC) in association with Arlington Orthopedic Associates has long been a pioneer of joint maintenance, restoration and preservation. Now with new surgeon affiliations, Drs. Berman, Kazewych, and Drkulec look to expand those principles. Working with established procedures of cultured cartilage implants for joint defects as well as bone and cartilage grafts for large defects in the knee, the JPC offers a wide variety of options to the patient who wishes a biologic option to his/her problem. Short of total knee arthroplasty, many pathologies can be treated with a biologic remedy.
For patients who want a non-surgical option, the JPC offers new injection options. Platelet Rich Plasma (PRP) uses your own blood, concentrated to form an injection rich in growth hormone. Another newer technology uses human cells harvested from umbilical cords and placenta; called Amniotic Suspension Allograft (ASA). These stem cells, as you might guess, are rich in human growth hormone, can be used to form many other types of tissues, have anti-inflammatory characteristics and are bacterial resistant. Lastly, in some cases, stem cells can be harvested from abdominal fat cells or from bone, concentrated and injected into tissues or joints to improve or promote healing.
New surgical technologies are available through the JPC. Matrix Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation (MACI) uses the patient’s own cartilage cells which are expanded, cultured and grown, placed into a transfer matrix and then implanted back into the patient’s joint to patch articular defects. For larger defects with bone and cartilage involvement, another technology uses fresh donor grafts called Osteochondral Allographs. These grafts allow the restoration of large and multiple defects in a knee joint without the need for metal and/or plastic implants.
One of the most exciting new projects of the JPC is the NUsurface. The JPC is participating in an FDA research study, one of only ten such sites in the USA, which allows patients who still have pain following medial meniscus removal to get relief through the implant of a man made meniscus. NUsurface is an artificial meniscus, which has been used successfully in Europe and Israel, now being introduced to the USA. It acts as the natural meniscus to absorb stress and act as a spacer within the joint. Studies to date imply the NUsurface may decrease the inevitable risk of arthritis following meniscus removal.
A leading specialist in the field, the JPC is considered a “Key Opinion Leader” by Vericel Corporation, a leader in biologic implants. Surgeons of the JPC are on the national speaker’s bureau for Vericel teaching surgeons from around the country new cartilage restoration techniques. The JPC has been designated an International Teaching Facility by the International Society of Arthroscopy, Knee Surgery and Orthopedic Sports Medicine (ISAKOS) recently hosting surgeons from Italy, Sweden and Israel, as well as many surgeons local to the area learning techniques soon to be more common to all surgeons.
800 Orthopedic Way
Arlington, Texas 76015
Photography by Dustin Doskocil