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Treatment for Advanced Osteoarthritis | Osteoarthritis Arthritis Treatment Colorado | CAM Procedure for Arthritis | Vail, CO


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Dr. Peter J. Millett is an orthopedic shoulder surgeon and sports medicine specialist with the Steadman Clinic in Vail, Colorado. He offers advanced treatment for osteoarthritis of the shoulder and offers groundbreaking new procedures for young patients with osteoarthritis. The CAM procedure and the Microfracture procedure are new options for young individuals with the onset of advanced osteoarthritis.

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Treatment for Advanced Osteoarthritis | Osteoarthritis Arthritis Treatment Colorado | CAM Procedure for Arthritis | Vail, CO

  1. 1. This article was originally published on on October 26, 2011Colorado Orthopedic Shoulder Surgeon Discusses Epidemic of Osteoarthritis in YoungPatients and Offers Insight on New Groundbreaking Treatment for Arthritis and Joint PainIn the United States, youth sports dominate the lives of millions of young children and their families.With the pressure to start early, advance fast, train hard, and compete to win, sporting competitionamong our youth has been taken to a whole new level.The U.S. Centers for Disease Control states that nearly 30million children and adolescents participate in youth sports inthe United States each year. According to the Sports TraumaOveruse and Prevention (STOP) campaign, sports injuriesamong our youth have reached epidemic heights and it isestimated that more than 3.5 million kids under the age of 14receive medical treatment for sports injuries each year.According to Dr. Peter Millett, an orthopedic surgeonspecializing in shoulder and sports medicine in Vail, CO, “Avast majority of the youth sports injuries I treat each year are caused by overuse. Extensive training,beginning at very young ages, puts too much pressure on young joints that are still developing. This iswhy so many of our young athletes sustain injuries. It’s important to understand that while each childdevelops differently, most do not stop growing until after puberty. Until that time, the delicate tendons,ligaments, cartilage, muscles, and bones are vulnerable to injury.”Once a child suffers an injury, particularly one that involves a joint, there is risk for future injury andthe onset of premature degenerative changes.Dr. Millett and the other orthopedic surgeons that make up the Steadman Clinic in Vail, are among anelite group of sports medicine specialists in the nation who are seeing an increase in the number of overuse injuries and acute injuries associated with sports trauma. “Although I treat many traumatic injuries that are sustained in competition or recreational sports —for example fractured collarbones, dislocated shoulders, torn rotator cuffs that are caused from direct impact sports—more alarming, is the number of patients I am treating that have severe joint and cartilage damage from years of over-training and past injuries. I unfortunately have seen degenerative joint disease and the onset of arthritis as early as teenage years and now routinely perform surgery for osteoarthritis in young patients in their 30’s and 40’s,” said Dr. Millett. Initial treatment for young patients who suffer damage to their joint will often be conservative with rest and rehabilitation. More advanced injuries may require arthroscopic surgery to tighten shoulder ligaments or repair the labrum, which is a cartilage that can be torn from a traumatic injury or overuse. For young patients with significant cartilage damage, new joint preservation approaches are now available to help delay more radical techniques such as a full shoulder replacement. “A particular interest of mine is shoulder arthritis in the active athlete,” states Dr. Millett. “Many times there are options other than joint
  2. 2. replacement which preserve the shoulder and alleviate pain. Some of the newer techniques can delaythe need for shoulder replacement surgery. Joint replacement surgery, although very effective, is bestsaved for older patients or when all other available treatments have been exhausted.”The CAM procedure is one such technique that has been used successfully on young patients. CAMstands for Comprehensive Arthroscopic Management and it used for the treatment of advancedarthritis of the shoulder. Dr. Millett developed the CAM procedure as a treatment option for youngerpatients — predominantly athletes and active individuals — with advanced arthritis, as a means todelay full shoulder joint replacement surgery. Using a variety of minimally invasive arthroscopicsurgery techniques and regenerative technologies, loose cartilage is removed from the shoulder jointand the bones are re-shaped to prevent compression on nerves, to alleviate pain, and to restoremobility. The CAM technique was designed in stages over the course of five years with a specificfocus to alleviate pain along the back and side of the shoulder. Microfracture is another techniquethat can be used in conjunction with the CAM procedure to regenerate cartilage helping to alleviatethe pain and stiffness for arthritic shoulders.Recently some newer, bone-preserving types of shoulder replacement have been used in youngpatients who have more end-stage types of shoulder arthritis as a way to preserve more native tissueand to save bone stock for future surgeries that might be needed. There are many different factors toconsider for shoulder injuries that cause arthritis. Furthermore, as one might expect there can beseveral treatment options and risks with benefits with each type that should be discussed with yoursurgeon after an evaluation.For young athletes and their parents, it is crucial to understand that degenerative conditionsassociated with injury and years of training may become a large burden later in life, once theirsporting careers are over. Arthritis typically gets worse with age. It is crucial that all athletesunderstand how to protect themselves during sports and follow the recommended safety guidelineswhen it comes to stretching, therapy, wearing protective devices and guards.But most importantly, says Dr. Millett, “Knowing when to take a break and when to rest seems to beone of the most overlooked points of all. There is no reason to paly hurt. The body has an amazingability to heal itself. When injured, rest and appropriate orthopaedic care can help save the joints ofmany of our young athletes for years and years to come.”---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------About the Writer/Expert:Kristy M. Theis is a Dallas, TX freelance communications writer and the editor for eMedical Media. Dr. Peter J. Millett is anOrthopedic Shoulder Surgeon, Sports Medicine Specialist and a Partner at the Steadman Clinic in Vail, CO.