May 14, 2013 9:41 AM by Marissa Torres
From walking to bending - grabbing and standing - we don't typically give much thought about our joint health until there's a problem. That problem is arthritis for millions of Americans, and is the leading cause of disability.
Seven months have passed since firefighter Danny Zimmerman tore the meniscus in his knee.
"I was at home actually splitting firewood and as we were moving the logs, I twisted just wrong and I heard a pop and a burn in my knee."
The pain quickly became something Zimmerman could not tolerate any longer.
"It was just really painful to put any kind of weight on it. Any stepping up into the fire truck, climbing steps, anything like that was just really painful."
Orthopedic Surgeon, Dr. John Noble, could see in Zimmerman's MRI's that he was on a bad track to arthritis in the future; caused by wear and tear to your joint's cartilage.
"Articular cartilage is this wonderful substance that is pasted on the ends of our bones that allows us to move without pain."
It does that by reducing the friction in motion and redistributing the stress to the bones so the bones don't feel pressure.
"Once the articular cartilage is gone, essentially it cannot be regenerated."
"If they've had pain for 10 and 20 years, it's often too late to do anything that could possibly be a joint preserving procedure."
It wasn't too late for Zimmerman. In fact, he was the perfect candidate to undergo a new bone preserving procedure in his knee with doctor noble, injecting a cement-like substance into the knee to prevent or delay further deterioration.
"It is a re-absorbable calcium phosphate material and the bone over time will reabsorb it and replace it with new healthy bone."
"Just a very small dot where we inserted the needle."
This little dot is the only mark left behind by the Subchondroplasty procedure, and Zimmerman says his knee is pain free.