Ortho-expo explores treatment options

Published 10:15 pm Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Undergoing surgery can be a scary thing — especially when that surgery can directly impact one’s ability to walk, run or even move.

Next week, the staff and doctors from Sentara Obici Hospital’s orthopedic department will try to remove some of those fears during a free orthopedic health expo for anyone curious about potential procedures.

“It’s important to patients, because there are such unbelievable technological advances in the field of orthopedics,” said Dr. Anthony Bevilacqua, one of the presenting doctors at the expo. “There have been such significant advances that it is important for the patient to see what the advances are about.”

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For example, there are new minimally invasive procedures for hip and knee surgeries, including partial knee replacements.

“To be able to feel and touch and see the implants that are used for these kind of things are really quite amazing for these folks,” Bevilacqua said. “There’s a natural tendency to think, ‘Wow, this is going to function as a new joint that God gave me.’”

On May 14 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at the Obici hospital classrooms, patients can talk one-on-one with orthopedic surgeons, meet physical therapists and see some of those advances up close. That one-on-one time is crucial for patients, Bevilacqua said, because it can give them a sense of the breadth of services and experience they will have working with them.

“I think this is more of a meet-and-greet,” Bevilacqua said. “There’s a lot of misinformation about joint replacement, which is based on things that have happened to people long ago. But the world is a different place. Really, more or less a public awareness is probably the main benefit (of attending).”

Bevilacqua added that the expo is also important, because there is a growing population in need of orthopedic procedures; they are no longer just for middle-aged or older populations.

“The truth is, in today’s society, with many patients very physically active, they end up requiring less-than-total replacements earlier than we would have previously done so,” Bevilacqua said. “People in that demographic should come and see some of the alternatives to their problems.”

For more information on the expo, call 1-800-SENTARA.