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Orthopedic Surgeon Performs Groundbreaking Procedure at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Longview November 27, 2018

Dr. Josh Griffin

Longview, TX – A physician in Northeast Texas is taking orthopedic surgery to the next level with the implementation of a technique and procedure that has never been performed in this area before. Dr. Josh Griffin, of Longview Orthopaedic Clinic Association recently performed the first lateral meniscus transplant in the Longview/Tyler area at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Longview.

“This is something that has never been done here before, and it represents a big step forward for orthopedic patients in East Texas,” said Dr. Griffin. “It is a revolutionary procedure that alleviates pain and can potentially avoid the need for a joint replacement in the future.”

The procedure itself involves removing a section of the meniscus, bone and cartilage from cadaver and transplanting it into the knee of a patient who has had previous surgeries and is missing large portion of meniscus.

“That missing meniscus material can lead to cartilage pain and serious deterioration of the joint,” said Dr. Griffin.

The procedure is most commonly employed for middle aged, active patients – and sometimes younger – people who have had previous tears and damage in their meniscus whose cartilage is still mostly intact. That cartilage is what the meniscus is designed to preserve, and without it the hope of an active lifestyle is ultimately unrealistic.

“I’ve had two other surgeries on my knee before this procedure, and this one by far has me feeling the best. I have very minimal pain, which was really surprising, as I work on my feet all day and I am having no problems. In the long run, I think this will be a really beneficial thing,” said Dave Tennison, the patient. “I’m getting to where I’m riding my bike about 7 miles a day and I will be able to do more activities in the future – maybe not full tackle football, but I feel really good right now! I look forward to being being back at 100-percent soon, and I’m almost there now!”

“Candidates can be from their 20s to their 50s, as long as their cartilage is intact,” said Dr. Griffin. “Sometimes the procedure can be used in younger patients, not necessarily to get an athlete back onto the playing field, but to ensure they can maintain a healthy, active lifestyle.”

There are only a few surgeons that can perform this procedure out of the hundreds of talented orthopedic specialists in the larger metropolitan areas of Texas, like Dallas and Houston. To offer this procedure at CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center - Longview is truly groundbreaking. The specific instrumentation and capabilities required for this procedure are only available at this facility.

“When you are talking with a patient, it is incredible to see the look on their face when you are able to tell them that instead of having to have their knee replaced in the next five years, they might not ever need it – and if they do, it would be 20 years down the road,” said Dr. Griffin. “And really, the implication here is something that can be a very big deal in restoring native joints to a point where there is no turning back. It represents the future of this type of care.”

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CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System includes: CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Longview (425-bed count); CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Medical Center – Marshall (149-bed count); freestanding Emergency Departments, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd NorthPark and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Emergency Center – Kilgore; medically integrated wellness centers, CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Institute for Healthy Living and CHRISTUS Good Shepherd LifeCenter; and CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic. CHRISTUS Trinity Clinic is the area's preferred multi-specialty medical group, with more than 650 Physicians and Advanced Practice Providers representing 41 specialties in 82 locations serving Northeast Texas across 41 counties. For more information on services available through CHRISTUS Good Shepherd Health System, visit www.christushealth.org/good-shepherd.