Dr. Christopher Swanson, a newlywed and relative newcomer to coastal Georgia, spoke to the Hinesville Rotary Club on Tuesday at the La Quinta Inn about services offered by the Bone & Joint Institute of South Georgia, including minimally invasive surgical procedures.
The Michigan native specializes in sports-related injuries and gained real-world experience with professional athletes during his time assisting the head physician for the NFL’s Cincinnati Bengals.
“That was a fun experience over the past year,” Swanson said.
The young doctor described the various surgeries that can be conducted at the institute, including arthroscopic knee and shoulder surgery and knee- and shoulder-replacement surgery. Swanson said as baby boomers age, orthopedic surgeons likely will perform an increased number of knee-, shoulder- and hip-replacement surgeries.
Arthroscopic surgery requires a tiny camera to be inserted in the patient’s knee or shoulder joint via a small incision, Swanson explained. The camera shows the surgeon an image of the inside of the joint on a monitor, he said.
Other types of injuries he normally treats include anterior cruciate ligament reconstructions, cartilage injuries, rotator-cuff injuries, bone spurs and dislocated shoulders, Swanson said.
Swanson attended Dartmouth College and then went on to the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey — Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. He completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at Drexel University College of Medicine in Philadelphia. He trained in sports medicine at the Orthopedic Center in Cincinnati.
One of the newer procedures he described is reverse shoulder replacement that is recommended for severe rotator-cuff injuries.
The American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons website explains that in a traditional shoulder-replacement surgery, a plastic cup is fitted into the shoulder socket and a metal ball is attached to the top of the upper arm bone or humerus.
“In a reverse total shoulder replacement, the socket and metal ball are switched. The metal ball is fixed to the socket and the plastic cup is fixed to the upper end of the humerus,” states orthoinfo.aaos.org.
The Bone & Joint Institute has an office at 475 S. Main St. in Hinesville and locations in Jesup, Waycross and Baxley, Swanson said.
Swanson said the Jesup and Waycross locations have open MRIs, which might lessen a patient’s unease during the procedure since they would not be confined to a small space. There also is a surgery center for outpatient surgeries in Jesup, he said.
Swanson’s colleagues include physicians Lex Kenerly and Matthew Valosen, along with physician assistants Scott Rowell and Stephen Hutcheson.