If you haven’t experienced a meniscus or ACL tear, chances are you know someone around Steamboat who has. These knee injuries often coexist with a cartilage defect or tear.
“That’s the gliding surface of the knee — the surface we rely on for smooth weight-bearing,” says SOSI’s Dr. Alexander Meininger, fellowship-trained in sports orthopaedic surgery.
SOSI surgeons use advanced tools for regenerative medicine such as platelet-rich plasma or stem-cell injections, as well as MACI surgery, which repairs cartilage defects of the knee.
Dr. Meininger, along with Drs. Adam Wilson, and Michael Sisk, are SOSI’s primary knee specialists and experts.
Dr. Meininger performs more than 500 knee surgeries annually, about 150 of which are ACL repairs. Knees became a likely focus of his practice, thanks to sports-specific orthopaedic training. His love for the outdoors also led to a passion for taking care of athletic people.
“I’ve tried to develop my practice as a complex and advanced knee specialist, and also as an educator of arthroscopic surgery,” Dr. Meininger says.
When a knee replacement is necessary, SOSI’s subspecialty care means patients are in experienced hands.
Dr. Wilson says patients who get a knee replacement can get back to whatever activities they were enjoying before. Patients start walking on their new knee on the day of surgery.
“With a knee replacement, you can get back to normal activities within about three months, as opposed to an ACL, which is about six months,” Dr. Wilson says. “We’re pretty successful at getting people back to what they were doing.”
The total joint program at SOSI aims to get patients back to their lifestyles while closely monitoring outcomes. Minimally invasive hip arthroscopy is used to treat and diagnose a range of hip problems, a procedure for which Dr. Howarth says has significantly improved in recent years in terms of pain and rehabilitation.
In hip replacement surgery, the ball in the socket or bearing surface of a new hip had previously been the weak link. Dr. Michael Sisk says hip replacements at SOSI today can reach 30-years of wear-and-tear, and are capable of accepting the punishment of a typical Steamboat resident.
“I’m talking about the athletes who are pushing the absolute limits of their body — clicking 150 days on their ski pass, riding thousands of miles on bikes, hunting guides who throw 100 pounds of elk meat on their backs,” he says. “The hip replacements of yesteryear would only last 10 to 15 years.”
The Steamboat Orthopaedic & Spine Institute comprises a dedicated, local, and highly-trained staff of ten physicians and dozens of medical care and support staff, bringing world-class medicine to northwest Colorado, southern Wyoming, and the surrounding region. Alongside the team of specialists, SOSI also has a physical medicine and rehabilitation specialist and a physiatrist who specializes in the evaluation of spinal and musculoskeletal disorders, non-operative spine care, including epidural injections, and EMG and global orthopaedic assessments.