The Cincinnati Business Courier today announced that Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers' Dr. Nicholas Gates has been selected as a Finalist for the 2015 Health Care Heroes Innovator Award!
Dr. Gates was selected as a finalist for his development of a new technique to repair and rebuild ankle ligaments. He has done so using traditional and arthroscopic techniques for 16 years, but this new technique, called Internal Brace Augmentation for Lateral Ligament Repair, is now an option at Commonwealth Orthopaedic Centers and is now gaining popularity due to advantages that include quicker recovery time and more reliable long-term results. A modification of an old technique, the new procedure uses an internal brace of heavy fiber tape. Dr. Gates can repair and then rebuild the ligament, which is anchored into bone. A small incision is necessary to place the internal brace and then small "poke holes" are made for a common arthroscopic procedure. The internal brace is not placed arthroscopically, he explains, but the augmentation is often accompanied by arthroscopic surgery to evaluate and treat cartilage injury. This outpatient procedure takes approximately 30 minutes.
The internal brace is temporary, Dr. Gates says, while the lifespan of the ligament reconstruction is indefinite. Ankle sprains are the most common injury in sports, and though Dr. Gates sees many athletes and weekend warriors suffering from repetitive ankle sprains (tearing of the ankle ligament), even those who aren't playing football or basketball can experience chronic ankle instability. A typical patient who has undergone internal brace augmentation for lateral ligament repair with reconstruction will spend a month with a cast and begin physical therapy two weeks after surgery. With older surgical techniques, patients wait six weeks before therapy begins. The repair is stronger, explains Dr. Gates, so patients are off crutches faster and ultimately return to sports and activity more reliably.
To learn more about Dr. Gates, click HERE.