New Device Gives Real-Time Answers for Joint Injuries
Sicklerville resident Amanda Butler had always been active. A runner and softball player growing up, she likes hiking through the mountains with her husband and two-year-old. But a nagging knee injury was making those hikes more and more difficult.
Despite surgery to treat a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and meniscus, Butler's knee pain only worsened. "My knee would lock up. Any movement, or even sitting too long, would cause it to happen. It started happening more often too. I just wanted an answer to what was causing the pain, and to find out how to get better."
The desire for a fast answer convinced Butler to try a new device used by Sean McMillan, DO, FAOAO, Chief of Orthopedics at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County, called Mi-eyeTM. Mi-eye uses a needle with an integrated camera and light source to perform a diagnostic arthroscopy in the doctor's office—enabling patients to learn the cause of their orthopedic pain immediately rather than having to wait for the results of an MRI.
Lourdes is first in New Jersey to offer the device.
Results Right Away
Mi-eye is also helpful in cases when an MRI cannot be performed, such as when a person has a metal implant in the body or a pacemaker, said Dr. McMillan.
Here's how Mi-eye works: A data cable attaches a portable LCD tablet to a disposable, single-use needle. The needle connects to a 2.1-millimeter arthroscope with an integrated camera and light source. The camera allows physicians to capture still images and video of the affected area.
Before the procedure, the injured area is numbed with a local anesthetic. The needle is inserted and the physician evaluates the condition of the injured area. The test takes about 10 minutes. After the needle is withdrawn, a bandage is put on the injection site. No recovery is needed from the diagnostic test.
"There was a tear all the way around my knee," explained Butler, 36. "It was so bad that Dr. McMillan commented that he didn't know how I was walking."
Butler successfully underwent surgery on February 16. She no longer needs a cane or an ACE bandage for support. She goes to physical therapy to build up the strength in her knee, which is standard after meniscus surgery.
"The nice thing about having the Mi-eye exam was that I knew I needed surgery and that my surgery was scheduled right away," said Butler. "Everything, including the follow-up appointment, was done within a month. I'm glad not to be in pain anymore and to have my quality of life back-and that couldn't come soon enough. Dr. McMillian's hands-on care provided me with the best options for my knee."
Dr. McMillan said he's excited
to offer this new technology to patients and feels he'll have a
lot of use for it in his practice.
Last reviewed: April 2016
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