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Paradise Valley Hospital and Affiliated Orthopedic Surgeons Perform Rare Meniscus Transplant Procedure

3/21/2008 1:00:00 AM

(PHOENIX, Ariz.—March 21, 2008) - Paradise Valley Hospital and affiliated orthopedic surgeons, Dr. Jeffrey Lyman and Dr. Brian Gruber of The CORE Institute® will perform the remarkable and rare meniscus transplantation procedure. This highly specialized, state-of-the-art surgery is performed as an alternative treatment option for young, active patients who develop specific patterns of knee pain, usually those who previously had their meniscus removed (meniscectomy). It is estimated that only a few hundred cases take place per year in the entire country.


The meniscus is a tough, C-shaped cartilage that provides cushioning and stability to the knee joint. There are two menisci in each knee joint, one located on the inside of the knee (medial meniscus) and one located on the outside of the knee (lateral meniscus). A meniscal tear is the most common injury that occurs to this cartilage, and in this case, orthopedic surgeons usually perform a meniscal repair to preserve the cartilage. In some cases where a badly damaged meniscus or one with an extensive tear may not be amenable to repair, the entire meniscus can be removed. Initially, this does not pose a problem; but over time, some patients present specific patterns of knee pain and swelling which can lead to accelerated arthritis. As an alternative to replacing the entire knee joint for patients younger than 55 years, a meniscus transplant can be performed using a cadaver match.


At only 18 years old, Rachel Palumbo, of Yuma, has suffered from severe knee pain due to an absent lateral meniscus, limiting her extracurricular activities and even her ability to walk on a daily basis. But now she has the opportunity to regain her active lifestyle through a meniscus transplant that will be performed by orthopedic surgeons Dr. Lyman and Dr. Gruber. The two-and-a-half hour procedure will take place on Tuesday, March 25 at Paradise Valley Hospital.


“This is a highly specialized surgery that is on the cutting edge of sports medicine. We are pleased that we can present this treatment option through Paradise Valley Hospital’s new, state-of-the-art operating rooms, so that young adults like Rachel can really get back to enjoying their active lifestyles,” explained Dr. Gruber.


Rachel’s mother, KC Hoffman, was delighted to find the meniscal transplant option available for her daughter. “It has been heartbreaking to watch my daughter go from being so physically active in sports and dance to not even being able to walk without pain, let alone not being able to do everything she loves so much.”


“I am really excited about this surgery because it gives me the chance to get back to all of my activities. I am thankful to have gotten my donor match and I am truly sorry for that families’ loss. I am also extremely grateful for their willingness to help me and others that need help,” said Rachel.


About Paradise Valley Hospital

 Paradise Valley Hospital, an Affiliate of Abrazo Health Care, was founded in 1983. With more than 700 employees and 125 active volunteers, Paradise Valley Hospital cares for more than 82,000 people each year. Some distinctive services include emergency medicine, bariatric surgery, obstetrics and a psychiatric unit for seniors. Paradise Valley Hospital’s mission is to enhance the health of the North Valley Community through high quality, compassionate, and convenient healthcare. We strive to be a great place for employees to work, physicians to practice, and patients to receive care. For more information, visit www.paradisevalleyhospital.com


The CORE Institute® is a private medical practice that provides a wide range of orthopedic services including compassionate patient care, research, community service and medical education. Their clinical and research team is dedicated to pioneering research that expands orthopedic knowledge and continues to deliver state-of-the-art care.


While CORE Institute physicians are members of the medical staff of Paradise Valley Hospital, the physician members of the CORE Institute are independent contractors who are employed by the CORE Institute. As a result, the physician members of the CORE Institute are neither employees nor agents of Paradise Valley Hospital and Paradise Valley Hospital is not responsible for any actions which any member of the CORE Institute takes in [his/her] medical practice.

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