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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 can eliminate the need to make an appointment for an MRI at another site, have the test done and then wait for the MRI results to be read and sent back to the orthopedic surgeon," said Dr. McMillan. "By using Mi-eye in the office, we get real-time results. Because of this, we can diagnose injuries immediately and set up a treatment plan, and/or a surgery date, sooner. This gets patients back to their regular, everyday lives faster."

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 After the needle is withdrawn, a bandage is put on the injection site.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.

"Mi-eye allows physicians to provide patients with the answers to what is causing their pain on the first patient visit," he said. "Not only does it save time, but it also gives patients peace of mind knowing what their injury is right away. And the sooner we can start treatment, the sooner the patient can heal and have a better all-around experience."

Last reviewed: April 2016

Also in this issue:

Free Blood and Glucose Screenings
Knowing your blood pressure and glucose levels can aid in the prevention of chronic conditions and disease. Lourdes Health System holds free screenings across the region, including at the following ShopRite supermarkets: Third Wednesday of the month, 3 to 5 p.m., ShopRite of Cinnaminson; Second Thursday of the month, 9 to 11 a.m., ShopRite of Delran; Second Thursday of the month, 1 to 2 p.m., ShopRite of Burlington; Third Thursday of the month, 10 a.m. to 12 noon,ShopRite of Mount Laurel (Ark Road); Fourth Thursday of the month, 10 a.m. to 12 noon, ShopRite of Hainesport.

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