Shaping the Future of Musculoskeletal Care

The Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center at Emory Orthopaedics & Spine Center is a multi-disciplinary team of researchers, clinicians and community partners who are collaborating to shape the future of orthopedics and musculoskeletal care. They are investigating everything from forward-thinking research endeavors to progressive surgical techniques in order to develop the best possible options for patients in need of advanced joint and cartilage treatment. Created as a complement to Emory Orthopaedics' state-of-the-art hospital, which performs joint replacements, the Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center offers alternatives to joint replacement—to help patients preserve their own cartilage, restore function and prevent or delay the need for joint replacement with artificial parts.

Why Choose Emory?

The Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center's team of experts works together in a seamless fashion to provide custom solutions for patients with musculoskeletal issues. The physicians and staff have access to a tremendously large array of modalities and treatments specific to almost every joint in the body; and because they understand total joint replacement is an extreme measure for most patients, they alternatively consider and utilize:

  • Advanced imaging techniques to better evaluate cartilage, diagnose problems and create cartilage/joint preservation treatment strategies
  • Non-surgical orthobiologic-based treatments (such as STEM cell, platelet-rich plasma and hyaluronic acid injection therapies) to treat pain and help get people moving again
  • Surgical procedures to re-grow or preserve existing cartilage, align and stabilize the joint, and stave off additional operations in the future

Learn More About the Joint & Cartilage Conditions We Treat

The specialists with the Joint & Cartilage Center at Emory Orthopaedics help preserve and extend the life of joints so patients may realize immediate improvements in their quality of life. They treat a variety of medical conditions, including (but not limited to) those listed here. Call 404-778-3350 for more information or to make an appointment. A patient representative will help coordinate the most appropriate services for each individual patient to ensure seamless service and the highest level of care.

Knee pain. The knee is one of the joints most prone to injury. Pain and swelling can be caused by a variety of factors, including overuse/overtraining, accidents and genetic issues. See an Emory specialist for help addressing ligament injuries, cartilage damage, instability issues, mal-alignment issues or aftereffects of previous surgeries.

Meniscus Tears. The meniscus is a piece of specialized cartilage that provides a cushion between the femur (thighbone) and tibia (shinbone). It can be torn during activities where there is direct contact, sudden stops or forced rotating movements. The Emory team has access to multiple treatment options for meniscus tears, and can even address problems resulting from previous surgeries.

Hip pain. Hip pain can be confusing for both patients and providers. Typically, but not always, pain coming from the back and outside is referred from the back, and pain in the groin is more typically from the hip joint. When it comes to conditions of the hip, osteoarthritis is more common in older individuals. However, sometimes—in older individuals and often in younger, more active individuals—the pain may be caused by impingement or “FAI” and a labrum tear of the hip.

Foot, Toe & Ankle Pain. Because there are 33 joints in the foot and ankle, it can be difficult to diagnose the source of pain or discomfort. The expert problem solvers at Emory are well-versed in the complex foot, toe and ankle conditions and have diverse treatment options available to help patients find relief.

Osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is the most common chronic condition of the joints, affecting approximately 27 million Americans. Pain, joint stiffness and loss of flexibility are caused when the cartilage that protects a bone is injured or worn down over time. There is no cure for osteoarthritis, but treatments are available to manage symptoms, improve mobility and flexibility, and help patients get back to more active lifestyles.

Disc Degeneration/Stenosis. Degenerative disc disease and stenosis are more likely to develop in people over the age of 50. However, those with a spine injury or certain types of arthritis and related conditions may also be at risk. As the spine narrows, it puts pressure on the nerves and spinal cord, which can cause pain, numbness, cramping and even foot problems. Treatments may include analgesics, physical therapy, injections, minimally-invasive procedures, or surgery.

Elbow Pain. The cartilage of the elbow is thinner than that of weight-bearing joints (such as the knee or hip), making the elbow more susceptible to joint damage from injury or arthritis. Tenderness, pain and swelling can be signs of cartilage damage. Visit an Emory specialist to discuss treatment options, such as medications, corticosteroids and biologic response modifiers.

Shoulder Pain. One of the most common shoulder conditions is arthritis. Bone spurs, rotator cuff tears and cartilage damage due to injury can also cause a loss of movement in the shoulder joint, stiffness and pain. The nationally-recognized surgeons with the Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center keep abreast of the most advanced shoulder surgery techniques and even help design new approaches so patients can regain higher levels of functionality with less pain.

Treatments & Services

Advanced Imaging Techniques

Radiologists with the Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center at Emory Orthopaedics are backed by the research capabilities of Emory University, one of the fastest growing research institutions in the country. This means they are using the most advanced imaging techniques and technologies to diagnose and treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions.

  • 3D computer modeling offers a three-dimensional visualization of anatomy and pathologic conditions. Radiologists and surgeons use it to prepare for complex surgeries. By studying a patient's specific anatomy prior to a procedure, they are able to increase precision, save time and decrease treatment costs.
  • Improved cartilage mapping & injury grading techniques are used by the Emory team to evaluate traumatic or degenerative cartilaginous lesions, improve the characterization of changes in cartilage, and measure function. This helps physicians and surgeons create individualized patient care plans that will realize better clinical outcomes.

Non-surgical Orthobiological-based Treatments

The joint and cartilage experts at Emory are among a select group of physicians around the country to offer stem cell therapy and other regenerative medical therapies for the treatment of musculoskeletal diseases. Call 404-778-3350 for more information or to make an appointment.

  • Stem cell injection therapies provide non-surgical treatment options to provide long-lasting relief from chronic joint pain. They utilize a patient’s own stem cells and growth factors to try to repair damaged tissue, reduce pain and promote healing.
  • Hyaluronic acid is naturally present in human joint tissue which the body uses as a shock absorber and lubricant. Viscosupplementation augments the body's natural supply of hyaluronic acid by injecting more of the thick fluid directly into arthritic joints to help reduce pain and swelling.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy utilizes platelets from a patient's own blood to rebuild a damaged tendon or cartilage. It has been successful in not only relieving pain, but also in jumpstarting the healing process.

Surgical Procedures

The orthopedic surgeons with the Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center at Emory Orthopaedics are dedicated to the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of disorders of the bones, joints, ligaments, tendons and muscles. They are experts in their field and always searching for ways to re-grow or preserve existing cartilage so that patients can stave off total joint replacement, or additional joint-related operations, in the future. Call 404-778-3350 for more information or to make an appointment.

  • Cartilage regenerative procedures use a patient's own stems cells and growth factors to help repair damaged tissue, reduce pain and promote healing. Either fat or bone marrow cells are taken from the patient's own body, then processed and injected into his/her joint or tendon.
  • Cartilage transplantation repairs damaged cartilage with replacement juvenile cartilage. Cartilage replacement is conducted by using a mix of donated cartilage and fibrin glue (a common medium for biological repairs) formed into a patch of the appropriate size and shape, which is then inserted into the damaged area.
  • Hip arthroscopy is a minimally invasive way to access the hip. It is used to repair conditions of the hip, alleviate pain, and possibly prevent or delay the onset of osteoarthritis. Typically, the impinging bone is removed and the labrum is repaired to the rim of the socket. Sometimes, particularly if the patient has had a previous failed surgery, the labrum or capsule/ligaments can be reconstructed. Sometimes with chronic conditions of the hip, the tendons around the hip benefit from being fixed as well.
  • Ligament reconstruction for the knee, ankle, shoulder or elbow can stabilize the joint, improve mechanics and restore full function. Surgery to correct a torn ligament involves replacing the ligament with a piece of healthy tendon.
  • Meniscus transplants can offer significant pain relief for a select group of patients. A meniscus transplant replaces the damaged meniscus with donor cartilage when the thin fibrous cartilage in the knee joint is so badly damaged it cannot be repaired.
  • Osteotomy (re-alignment) surgery involves cutting or lengthening part of the bone near a damaged joint in order to shift weight to an area with more normal or healthy cartilage. This technique is used to relieve the pain of arthritis, especially in the knee or hip.
  • Shoulder allograft reconstruction is a viable option for young and active patients. It uses donor tissue to stabilize and repair tendons in the shoulder that are otherwise irreparable.
  • A tendon transfer is a surgery that moves a working muscle and tendon to replace a non-working muscle and tendon. This procedure is most commonly performed on the hand in an effort to restore function after nerve or muscle injuries, neuromuscular disorders or birth defects.

Research

The Multicenter Trial of Stem Cell Therapy for Osteoarthritis (MILES study) is a research study focused on identifying a superior source of stem cells for the treatment of knee osteoarthritis and validating its advantages over corticosteroid injections. Patients looking for relief from knee pain may be interested in participating in this study to help advance the science and potentially improve symptoms or lessen the disease process. Emory Healthcare does not promise subjects any specific result.

Official Sport Medicine Provider for:

Hawks Falcons Braves Dream Dream

The Pros Trust the Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center Team. So Can You.

Emory's joint and cartilage specialists are tirelessly working to improve existing capabilities and establish better, more effective treatments for those suffering pain from musculoskeletal (MSK) issues. In fact, interest in MSK research has been so great that most of Atlanta's professional sports teams (Atlanta Hawks, Atlanta Braves, Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta Dream, and the Harlem Globetrotters) have put their trust and faith in the experts at Emory to advance musculoskeletal methodologies and knowledge in hopes of finding ways of keeping their athletes on the field/court longer. The results of these partnerships will translate to every single person looking to live a long, healthy and active life.

Find a Location Near You

We bring the best possible care to you, with several convenient locations. Call 404-778-3350 to schedule an appointment with an Emory Joint & Cartilage Preservation Center physician today at one of these convenient locations:

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Atlanta
59 Executive Park Drive South
Atlanta, GA 30329

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Conyers
1567 Milstead Road, NE
Suite B
Conyers, GA 30012

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Dunwoody
4555 North Shallowford Road, NE
Atlanta, GA 30329

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Johns Creek
6335 Hospital Parkway
Suite 302
Johns Creek, GA 30097

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Smyrna
3903 S Cobb Drive, SE
Suite 275
Smyrna, GA 30080

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Spivey Station
7813 Spivey Station Boulevard
Suite 200
Jonesboro, GA 30236

Emory Orthopaedic & Spine Center - Tucker
1459 Montreal Rd East
Suite 305
Tucker, GA 30084