OPA surgeons have a high reputation in Seattle and around the world. They are known lecturers in their fields and have pioneered new orthopedic surgical techniques.
Our physicians are all certified in Orthopedics, Physiatry and Sports Medicine, and have all received fellowship training in Spine, Foot & Ankle, Sports, Trauma, and Joint Replacement.
By choosing to work with OPA, you are working with the same orthopedic physicians that serve the Seattle Seahawks, Seattle Mariners, the Seattle Storm, and numerous other leagues around the Seattle region.
Four of our most popular orthopedic services in Seattle are our Cartiva implants, orthopedic diagnostics, MAKOplasty, and platelet-rich plasma therapy.
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Cartiva is a surgical implant that has been bringing comfort to patients suffering from osteoarthritis in the big toe. The implant is made of biocompatible, organic polymer that functions like natural cartilage.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage between joints wears down and the underlying joints are exposed for contact. This means that when someone with osteoarthritis walks, their big toe joint grinds against themselves, causing pain and discomfort for the patient.
To make matters worse, people with prolonged osteoarthritis tend to develop bone spurs on their toe joints. These spurs increase walking pain, especially when wearing shoes.
How does Cartiva compare to fusion?
The traditional solution for osteoarthritis has been fusion, a surgical procedure where the afflicted joints are attached and allowed to fuse together. This means that the joint stops functioning and can no longer be bent.
Losing joint function in the big toe is a tragedy because the big toe provides most of the propulsive force needed to walk and run. So while fusion helps patients alleviate their pain, it can impede their walking and running abilities.
Cartiva, on the other hand, allows the joint to move and bend normally following surgery. Cartiva patients experience freedom from joint pain while still maintaining access to normal joint junction.
What does Cartiva surgery look like?
OPA’s orthopedic surgeon will make a three inch incision along the top of the big toe, which allows access to the capsule of the joint. Here, the surgeon will clean up bone spurs and drill a small hole, which is where the Cartiva implant is placed. Typically, Cartiva surgery takes less than an hour.
How long is the Cartiva recovery process?
Another benefit of choosing Cartiva over fusion is that with Cartiva the toe is able to bear weight immediately after surgery. Fusion requires you to keep the weight off the foot for 6-12 weeks, meaning you will be using crutches, a walker, or a wheelchair until you heal.
OPA offers a wide range of diagnostic services to effectively identify the root of your orthopedic concerns. We do our best to carry out testing during the same visit that it is requested by your orthopedic physician. This is to save you time by not having to schedule another appointment and to give you immediate answers to the problem signals being given you by your body.
Our Seattle technologists are trained in the latest diagnostic imaging protocols and are well-known throughout the Seattle region for their superior results and professionalism.
X-rays are the most common and basic kind of imaging requested by orthopedic physicians. X-rays are made by flashing a small portion of radiation through part of your body, like your ankle, for example. As the radiation passes through, the image is collected on x-ray film and processed.
While X-rays are easy to make, the disadvantage is that they only show two dimensions of a body part. In order to properly diagnose an orthopedic issue, three dimensions are usually necessary.
Electromyography is a diagnostic procedure done to check the health of your muscles and nerves. We use EMG to test for nerve or muscle dysfunction.
An OPA physician may request an EMG if you have symptoms of nerve or muscle disorder. These symptoms often include numbness, muscle weakness, tingling, and certain kinds of muscle cramping and pain.
OPA uses Curve Beam’s PedCat to target specific body parts for ultra-low radiology dose CT imaging. The PedCat allows us to create a 3D image of your foot or ankle in order to pinpoint the issue causing you pain.
Ultrasounds use sound waves to create images of your muscles, tendons, joints, and ligaments. This tool enables OPA to diagnose strains, sprains, tears, and other soft tissue problems.
MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging)
We use MRI to evaluate soft tissue problems. An MRI creates a magnetic field around a part of your body and causes molecules in your body to vibrate. This vibration is translated into detailed 3D images that show us what’s going on inside your soft tissue.
MAKOplasty uses robotic arm technology to perform minimally invasive knee replacements. One of the many uniquenesses of this technology is the ability to leave as much of the original knee in place as possible, giving patients suffering from osteoarthritis a much more natural feeling knee than those received from total knee replacements.
What is osteoarthritis?
Osteoarthritis happens when the cartilage between knee joints wears down. This exposes the underlying joints and causes them to rub together, resulting in pain and discomfort in the knee. This rubbing can also create swelling, bone spurs, and limited mobility.
You are more susceptible to osteoarthritis if you have a family history of knee problems, have suffered repetitive stress injuries, or have been diagnosed with metabolic disorders. Women are also more susceptible to osteoarthritis than men are.
How does MAKOplasty work?
MAKOplasty uses the RIO® Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System to deliver advanced, yet minimally invasive, surgery.
Before your procedure, a computed tomography (CT) scan is taken of your knee. The scan is passed to the RIO® system, which then creates a 3D anatomical model. Your orthopedic surgeon will use this model to plan the alignment and placement of your new knee implants. Since no two knees are alike, this modeling and strategizing process allows your doctor to ensure that your implant will be a perfect fit for your knee.
During the knee resurfacing surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will remove the damaged parts of the knee via a tiny incision. Next, a robotic arm will work with the surgeon to align and set your knee implant onto the joint.
How long is the recovery period?
Yet another benefit of choosing MAKOplasty over total knee replacement surgery is that you should be able to walk within a few hours of your surgery. Many patients are able to have MAKOplasty on an outpatient basis allowing them to recover in their home.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy uses injections of a patient’s own platelets to speed up the healing process for injured muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons. Platelet-rich plasma therapy has been used to treat many famous athletes, including Tiger Woods and Rafael Nadal.
Here at OPA, our Seattle sports medicine physicians are trained in the administration of PRP and are ready to help you.
What is platelet-rich plasma?
Platelets are the main clotting tool in your blood. These little elements are called “cell fragments” because they are neither molecules or cells. While small, when you put enough platelets together, great things can happen.
How does platelet-rich plasma work?
Once you and your physician decided that platelet-rich plasma is the best option for treatment, the process is a simple outpatient procedure.
Platelet-rich plasma is created by extracting some of your own blood. This blood is then spun in a centrifuge until it separates into layers — the platelets rise to the top during the spinning. Next, the platelets are withdrawn in a concentrate, which is then injected into the site of your injury.
The science behind platelet-rich plasma is based on the fact that platelets are rich in growth factors and healing cytokines. By injecting platelet-rich plasma into an injury, we are bathing your injured tendons, joints, or muscles in a wash of healing factors that contribute to faster recovery time.
We most commonly perform platelet-rich plasma therapy on partial tears in the Achilles Tendon and rotator cuff tendon tears in the shoulder. We also use platelets to treat osteoarthritis in the knees and hips.
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Orthopedic Doctors Near You
If you are a Seattle resident who is growing tired of your arthritis pain, or if you’ve suffered a sports injury, come see us today. We will discuss your symptoms and help you decide what diagnostic and recovery procedures are best for your condition.