Dr Thomas W Harris M.D. – Our Services

Our practice provides comprehensive care for patients with shoulder, knee and all joint disorders. Our medical staff will quickly pinpoint the source of pain and will work with our patients to develop an effective treatment plan.

Together, we will explore a variety of medical options that specifically fit the individual patient’s needs, which may include an aggressive non-surgical treatment or surgical management. We offer state-of-the-art evaluation and treatment as well as on-site x-ray, same day appointments and handicap accessibility. Through education and personal leadership, we continue to maintain this standard of excellence.

Shoulder Procedures

Shoulder surgeries or arthroscopy can be used to examine or repair issues within the shoulder region.

According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 1.4 million shoulder arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.

Arthroscopic Shoulder Surgery, or arthroscopy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that uses a small camera called an arthroscope. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision to examine or repair specific areas within or around the shoulder joint.

Shoulder Arthroscopy Procedures

Your shoulder is the most flexible joint in your body allowing you to place and rotate your arm in many positions in front, above, to the side, and behind your body. This flexibility also makes your shoulder susceptible to instability and injury.

Shoulder Joint Examnation

One of the uses for shoulder arthroscopy is to inspect the shoulder joint and surrounding areas to confirm a diagnosis and determine the extent of injury of disease process.  Your surgeon will determine if the minimally invasive procedure can be used for a surgical repair instead of a traditional open surgical procedure.

Shoulder Joint Surgery

Often when using shoulder arthroscopy to make or confirm a diagnosis, surgery is performed to correct conditions affecting muscles, cartilage, joints or ligaments in the shoulder damaged as a result of injury, disease or aging.  By performing the surgery during the arthroscopic examination, the surgeon is able to perform a repair without having to inconvenience the patient with a second procedure.  By doing so, this eliminates the need for a large incision minimizing blood loss and discomfort helping to speed recovery.

Conditions treated using Shoulder Arthroscopy

Depending on the complexity of the repairs that need to be made, shoulder arthroscopy may be used to correct the following conditions:

Cartilage or ligaments that have been torn or damaged

  • Shoulders with instability where a shoulder joint is loose and/or the shoulder dislocates and slips out of the ball and socket joint becoming dislocated
  • Biceps tendon that is torn or damaged
  • Torn rotator cuff
  • Bone spurs or inflammation around the rotator cuff
  • Joint inflammation or damage caused by an illness such as arthritis
  • Loose tissue that interferes with movement and has to be removed
  • Shoulder impingement where movement is impaired

Most arthroscopic shoulder surgery is performed as an outpatient procedure under general anesthesia, eliminating the need for a hospital stay.

Today, about 53,000 people in the U.S. have shoulder replacement surgery each year, according to the Agency or Healthcare Research and Quality.

If nonsurgical treatments like medications and activity changes are no longer helpful for relieving pain, you may want to consider shoulder joint replacement surgery.  Joint replacement surgery is a safe and effective procedure to relieve pain and help you resume everyday activities.

Shoulder Replacement Surgery

Total shoulder replacement, also known as total shoulder arthroplasty (TSA), is a tremendously successful procedure for treating the severe pain and stiffness that often results at the end stage of various forms of arthritis or degenerative joint disease of the shoulder joint.

When shoulder replacement surgery is performed, the ball is removed from the top of the humerus and replaced with a metal implant.  This is shaped like a half-moon and attached to a stem inserted down the center of the arm bone.  The socket portion of the joint is shaved clean an replaced with a plastic socket that is cemented into the scapula.

The treatment options are either replacement of just the head of the humerus bone (ball), or replacement of both the ball and the socket.  If only 2 of these 2 bones needs to be replaced, the surgery is called a partial shoulder replacement, or a hemiarthroplasty.

Once set in place, the patient’s new shoulder joint should allow for a wider range of motion with less pain.

Reverse Shoulder Replacement

For some patients, shoulder arthritis coupled with a severely torn rotator cuff, known as “cuff tear arthropathy,” rules out traditional shoulder replacement as an effective treatment option.  The shoulder replacement procedure outlined above, in which the ball and socket components are replaced with new prosthetic components, may result in pain and limited mobility after surgery for these patients.  A different type of shoulder replacement, called reverse shoulder replacement, may be available for many of these patients and provide pain relief as well as a stable functioning shoulder.

Reverse shoulder replacement has the ball of the shoulder joint where the socket should be and the socket where the ball usually is in normal anatomy.  Thus the anatomy is reversed.  This may seem very strange, but this arrangement has some unique mechanical advantages for people who have lost the normal mechanics of their shoulder with massive rotator cuff tears with arthritis.  Reverse shoulder replacement relies on different muscles to move the arm, and so it tends to be a better option for these patients.  Because traditional shoulder replacement components rely on the rotator cuff muscles, these patients will typically experience pain whenever trying to use these muscles.

Just like any joint replacement the success of the surgery depends on many factors including the advanced state of the arthritic joint at the time of surgery, the overall health of the patient and the dedication to the physical therapy required after the surgery.

Knee Procedures

Arthroscopic Procedure

This specialty focuses on lower extremity disorders and replacement surgeries or arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopic surgeries include ligament strains and tears, cartilage tears, or cartilage deterioration beneath the kneecap.

According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.

Knee arthroscopic surgery is a procedure performed through small incisions in the skin to repair injuries to tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, or bone within the knee joint area. The surgery is conducted with the aid of an arthroscope, which is a very small instrument guided by a lighted scope attached to a television monitor.

The advantage of arthroscopy over traditional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Instead, for knee arthroscopy, only two small incisions are made — one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the knee cavity. This reduces recovery time and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue.

The range of knee arthroscopic surgeries represents very different procedures, risks, and aftercare requirements. Common injuries for which knee arthroscopy is considered include:

  • Cartilage tears (meniscus tears)
  • Ligament strains and tears
  • Cartilage deterioration underneath the kneecap (patella).

While the clear advantages of arthroscopic surgery lie in surgery with less anesthetic, less cutting, and less recovery time, this surgery nonetheless requires a very thorough examination of the causes of knee injury or pain prior to a decision for surgery.

In hip and knee surgery, the joints are replaced with a prosthetic joint made of metals and plastics. Your new hip and knee joint will give you increased strength, movement and mobility and, once you have healed, you will again be able to take part in everyday activities again.

Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgery can be performed as a partial or a total knee replacement. In general, the surgery consists of replacing the diseased or damaged joint surfaces of the knee with metal and plastic components shaped to allow continued motion of the knee.

When you have a total knee replacement, the surgeon removes damaged cartilage and bone from the surface of your knee joint and replaces them with a man-made surface of metal and plastic. In a partial knee replacement, the surgeon only replaces one part of your knee joint.

The knee joint is the largest and most complex and therefore the most stressed joint in the body. It is this complexity and stress which can cause arthritis. Although there are several conditions which may lead to the need for knee replacement, arthritis (whether it be osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis or traumatic arthritis) is the most common reason. A number of other factors contribute to joint disease including genetics, developmental abnormalities, repetitive injuries and obesity.

Just like any joint replacement the success of the surgery depends on many factors including the advanced state of the arthritic joint at the time of surgery, the overall health of the patient and the dedication to the physical therapy required after the surgery.


Hip Procedures

Hip Replacement

First performed in 1960, hip replacement surgery is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine. According to the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, more than 285,000 total hip replacements are performed each year in the United States.

Patients who have decided with their physician that a hip replacement is the best option to treat their hip pain may be eligible for the Anterior Hip Replacement.

Conventional (lateral/posterior) hip replacement surgery requires that muscle and tendon be detached or split making it necessary for the patient to adhere to strict range of motion restrictions for the first 6-8 weeks after surgery to prevent dislocation of the hip while the soft tissues heal and muscles strengthen. Hip flexion is limited to no more than 90 degrees, no pivoting or twisting of the leg is allowed, and you cannot cross your legs or ankles during this time.

Anterior Hip Replacement Surgery allows the surgeon to expose the hip without removing as much muscle from the bone and minimally disturbing the capsule of the hip joint, which means faster recovery time. This approach involves a single, very short incision into the patient’s leg and is performed by entering the front of the hip as opposed to the back of the hip. The Anterior Hip Replacement Approach is one of the least invasive procedures which have proven to be a surgical technique that minimizes the pain and the time from surgery to recovery.


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