Specialties & Procedures
Orthopaedics is a specialty designed to treat injuries and musculoskeletal conditions. Dr. Vernace is fellowship trained in joint replacement surgery, but also treats a wide variety of orthopaedic conditions. From sprains, strains, and contusions to broken bones and worn out joints, we have only one goal: to get you back on your feet and eliminate your pain as quickly as possible.
Many joints in the body can wear out, particularly the knee, hip, and shoulder. Over time, cartilage starts to crack or wear away. Because cartilage cannot fully repair itself, the damage may keep increasing. At first, your joints may just be a little stiff. But as the bones of the joint begin rubbing together, you're likely to feel pain. This is the pain of arthritis.
There are many treatments for arthritis including rest, ice, activity modifications, NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs), injections, and more. These treatments are very effective in the early stages of arthritis, but as the cartilage continues to wear away, these treatments may no longer help to alleviate the pain. At that point, joint replacement may be your best option.
Hip, knee, and shoulder replacements are common surgical procedures that relieve the pain associated with arthritis. They are performed under general or spinal anesthesia. Most patients spend 2 to 3 days in the hospital and commonly stay at a rehabilitation hospital thereafter. The success rate is very high.
Dr. Vernace is a board certified fellowship trained orthopaedic surgeon in joint replacement surgery. This means that after the completion of his required orthopaedic training, he spent additional time in the study of joint replacement surgery. Dr. Vernace completed this training at the Rothman Institute in Philadelphia.
Sports Medicine refers to preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries related to participating in sports and/or exercise. Most of the injuries are sprains or strains of ligaments, muscles and tendons. Many can be treated non-operatively with bracing, exercise, physical therapy, and medicines. However, more serious injuries many result in complete tears of cartilage, ligaments or tendons like the meniscus and anterior cruciate ligament in the knee, rotator cuff in the shoulder, and labrum in the hip. Many times these injuries require surgical treatment. Nearly all of these can be treated with arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique that uses tiny incisions (1/3rd of an inch) for a miniature camera and instruments to be placed inside the joint. In general, patients undergoing arthroscopy have significantly less pain and return to normal activities sooner than patients who have ‘open’ surgeries with large dissections. These surgeries are typically performed on an outpatient basis.
Knee arthroscopy is a common procedure that is performed to treat meniscal and ligament tears, as well as cartilage defects, removal of loose bodies, synovial disorders and more. Small incisions are placed in the front of the knee. A small camera is placed inside the joint allowing for excellent visualization and access to all parts of the joint. Instruments are used to repair or remove damaged tissue. This minimally invasive technique allows for faster healing, minor scar formation, and quick recovery.
Many problems with the shoulder can be treated conservatively with NSAIDs, cortisone injections, and physical therapy. However, depending on age, activity level, and severity of the problem, surgery may be needed. Traditionally, shoulder surgery was performed as an ‘open’ procedure which meant that large incisions were made and occasionally muscles had to be split or even cut to access the joint. Shoulder arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique that has revolutionized the treatment of shoulder problems including rotator cuff injuries, labral tears, instability, impingement syndrome, and acromioclavicular arthritis. Two to four small incisions are placed around the shoulder enabling complete access to the joint. All of these procedures can be performed on an outpatient basis allowing for a quicker, less painful recovery.
Unfortunately, broken bones (fractures) do happen. The vast majority of these do not require surgery. We offer the most patient-friendly forms of bracing materials including waterproof casts, splints, boots, shoes, crutches, and more. When surgery is necessary, we utilize the latest methods and devices for fixation to hold the bones together and allow them to heal.
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