Duke Orthopaedics recently expanded the availability of joint replacement surgery by adding a new specialist in knee and hip replacements at Duke Raleigh Hospital in Wake County.
Although the new team member, Joseph T. Cline, MD, specializes in these procedures, he emphasizes the importance of exploring all arthritis treatment options before resorting to surgery—and favors minimally invasive techniques when surgery is required.
“The biggest reason to do joint replacement is pain,” Cline says. “I see patients all the time with arthritis who are still doing everything they want and it is not holding them back.”
For these patients, management is a step-by-step process, starting with oral anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy, and perhaps progressing to injections of more potent medications, such as cortisone, which can provide “excellent long-term relief in some patients,” Cline says.
“When folks begin adjusting their day-to-day activities or giving up things they like doing because of the pain, then we start talking about arthroplasty,” Cline says.
To refer a patient, call 919-613-7797 or log into Duke MedLink.
When surgery is required, the best outcomes are achieved by surgeons who specialize in the procedure. Cline’s training includes a five-year residency in orthopaedic surgery, followed by a fellowship focused exclusively on hip and knee replacements.
He specializes in the minimally invasive posterior approach to hip replacement, which enables patients to walk on their new hip right away.
In keeping with his minimally invasive philosophy, he tailors his knee replacements to “disrupt as little of the soft tissue as possible, which leads to less pain post-operatively and helps patients recover faster.”
Cline grew up in Raleigh, so is excited to return to the area. He sees patients in clinic at Duke Orthopaedics of Raleigh and Duke Orthopaedics Heritage in Wake Forest.
“If a local provider has a patient struggling with chronic pain of hips or knees, I am happy to see them, even if they are not a candidate for surgery right now,” Cline says. He is also available to provide a second opinion for patients encountering problems after an initial surgery.