Harnessing the Power of Cold: Dr. Vinod Dasa offers visionary technology to treat orthopaedics patients in pain.
Dr. Vinod Dasa foresees a growing gap between some arthritis patients’ budgets and the treatments available to help ease their pain. That’s partly why he decided to focus on orthopaedics — and now, Dr. Dasa is bringing a revolutionary new technology to his orthopaedics practice at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center.
The doctor grew up in Pennsylvania, and graduated from Albany Medical College in Albany, N.Y., before completing his medical residency in orthopaedic surgery at the State University of New York in Buffalo. Following his interest in addressing the challenges of orthopaedics, he took on a prestigious fellowship at the Insall Scott Kelly Institute in Manhattan, where he focused on sports medicine and adult joint reconstruction.
Why did he choose orthopaedics? “For me, first it’s the challenge,” Dr. Dasa says. “I think some of the problems we have are pretty complicated, and the solutions we have aren’t great. Part of the attraction, for me, was dealing with these more challenging issues.”
He also notes that it’s gratifying to be able to solve patients’ problems with visible results and, sometimes, within a single visit — as when a patient enters his office in a wheelchair and leaves on foot. “I can make an impact, and it happens very quickly,” Dr. Dasa says. “You see the benefits right away.”
Dr. Dasa joined LSU Health Sciences Center’s orthopaedics team as the department was rebuilding post-Katrina, and he sees patients at LSU’s Sports Medicine Center in Kenner. “My practice right now is mostly geared around knee pain,” Dr. Dasa says. “I’ve kind of turned into the ‘knee guy.’”
As more and younger people are seeking treatment for arthritis, another challenge Dr. Dasa is taking on is the balance of high-quality care with patients’ cost concerns. “Given the limited resources we have with healthcare, how do we deliver high-quality [care] and still maintain cost and value?” he asks. “That’s where a lot of the advancements and a lot of the challenges are.”
Dr. Dasa is at the forefront of some of the latest advancements in orthopaedic surgery, including the development of outpatient joint replacement surgery. A combination of factors makes this type of surgery possible (including LSU’s state-of-the-art computer navigation system, which allows physicians more precise and accurate control over surgical techniques). “A handful of folks around the country have the system — I’d guess less than 10 or 15 percent of physicians use it,” Dr. Dasa says.
Patients can generally go home within a day after surgery and some go home the same day. The time it takes patients to recover from joint replacement is also shrinking, from two to three months down to four to six weeks in many cases, says Dr. Dasa.
In addition, Dr. Dasa pioneered the use of iOvera — a new, nonsurgical pain treatment that freezes a single nerve — for use in treatment of arthritis and other knee and joint issues. With the iOvera device, he can temporarily freeze the nerves around the knee, alleviating a patient’s pain while avoiding nerve damage or surgery. “A lot of patients may not want surgery or be a candidate,” Dr. Dasa says. “Whatever the reason is, this is another tool to try to help them if surgery is not an option or they don’t want surgery right away.” LSU Health Sciences Center is one of only 20 medical facilities in the U.S. to offer iOvera treatment for orthopaedic use.
Dr. Dasa looks forward to continuing to research and apply the latest developments in orthopaedic medicine. He sees his work at LSU Health Sciences Center as uniquely positioning him to collaborate with other scientists and researchers who are doing groundbreaking work in their fields. “That’s been one of the very fun, exciting things at LSU — the ability to interact with experts in all areas and other disciplines,” he says.
Dr. Vinod Dasa, M.D.
Assistant Professor of Clinical Orthopaedics
200 West Esplanade Ave., Suite 500
Kenner, La. 70056
Residency: SUNY at Buffalo, N.Y., Orthopaedic Surgery
Fellowship: Insall Scott Kelly Institute, Manhattan, N.Y., Sports Medicine and Adult Joint Reconstruction