My specific area of expertise is knee surgery, mainly knee replacements and also repeat knee replacements. I have also, over the years, carried out many hip replacements, although in recent years my practice is focussing more on surgery for knee arthritis.
The most rewarding part of my job is to treat people who are in pain and have difficulty mobilising; following a successful surgical intervention and rehab, they report that they are getting back to doing all of their activities of daily living. It is very rewarding when patients come back and explain that their lives have been improved as they have taken up all their activities again and are pain free. The other rewarding aspects of my job include training young surgeons, teaching medical students and supervising research into exciting new areas.
Yes, it is possible to restore bone loss and in fact, there is increasing technology using biological tissue engineering to support the creation of new bone. There are also ortho-biologics, which are a combination of mechanical material and biologics, which help fill in bone defects.
For all patients who have degenerate problems, lifestyle modification is really crucial. This involves gentle exercise, weight management, healthy diet and appropriate pain management. All of these things really help people and often avoid surgery. Even if they do not avoid surgery, they are very helpful in terms of rehabilitation following surgery.