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Orthopedic Surgeon to Speak on Advanced Surgical Techniques on Oct. 27
Patients Recover Faster and Experience Less Pain

New Britain [October 17 2005] - Advanced techniques in orthopedic surgery will be the subject of a lecture at New Britain General Hospital on Oct. 27 at 6:30 p.m. The talk will take place in Lecture Room One, and is free and open to the public.

Robert Belniak, M.D., chief of orthopedic surgery at New Britain General, will be talking about “minimally-invasive” surgical techniques in orthopedics — surgery using small incisions and arthroscopic techniques to minimize recovery time.

“Minimally invasive techniques have changed things significantly for patients,” said Dr. Belniak, who has more than 15 years of experience in the care of arthritis and sports-related injuries. “By using state-of-the-art procedures, techniques, and technology, patient outcomes have improved considerably. Two examples are partial knee replacement and arthroscopic repair of rotator cuff tears.

“We can do so much more now with joint repair and replacement through a much smaller incision than previously possible. This has many advantages: quicker recovery, less scarring, less pain, less damage to surrounding healthy tissue, less blood loss, shorter hospital stay, and less chance of infection. The same is true of hip replacement, shoulder and rotator-cuff surgery, and most other orthopedic procedures. Procedures are more customized to specific problems. Patients can get on with their lives much more quickly,” said Dr. Belniak. He adds that when patients experience less pain, they have a more optimistic attitude about the procedure, which in turn influences total recovery.

Arthroscopic surgical techniques have been a boon to shoulder rotator cuff surgery, he says. “It used to be that we would have to go through a lot of healthy tissue to reach and fix the damaged area,” says Dr. Belniak. “With arthroscopic techniques — using a small incision and a fiber optic scope — we can get to the diseased area with minimal impact on surrounding healthy tissue.”

Osteoarthritis is the precipitating factor for 90 percent of patients who have total or partial joint replacement.

Knee and hip replacements are one of the most common orthopedic procedures and are also among the most successful. In 2002, 365,000 knee replacements were performed in the U.S.

Dr. Belniak received his M.D. and completed his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He completed his fellowship in sports medicine at the University of Chicago. He is a member of the teaching faculty at the Orthopedic Learning Center in Illinois. Dr. Belniak is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Arthroscopy Association of North America, and the Connecticut State Medical Society.

Joint replacement surgery has been a specialty at New Britain General Hospital for many years. The Hospital has enhanced its clinical program with pre and post-operative services, transforming the Center for Joint Care into one of the Hospital’s Centers of Excellence. The Center offers a comprehensive program of seminars, patient education, and post-operative physical therapy.

For additional information, contact Dianne Vye, program manager of the Joint Center at New Britain General, at 860-224-5186.


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