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Patient’s Knee Saved By Bentonville Doctor

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) — A Rogers man said with the help of Dr. Christopher Dougherty in Bentonville, he was able to continue doing what he loved after he tor...

BENTONVILLE (KFSM) -- A Rogers man said with the help of Dr. Christopher Dougherty in Bentonville, he was able to continue doing what he loved after he tore his meniscus last year.

Art Dion said he was walking one Sunday when it felt like a blowtorch was taken to his left knee.

He later learned from doctors that he tore his meniscus.

Those doctors told him about Dr. Dougherty, who utilizes a new device to help repair meniscus tears.

Dougherty has used the Novostitch Plus since the end of 2014 and has completed over 300 procedures with high success rates.

In the past, if a tear was severe, he explained they would simply remove the meniscus.

“If we take the meniscus out, it’s a guarantee that you are going to get arthritis," Dougherty said. "It’s just a matter of time. It can be as quickly as five years. It’s much more common in women than in men to progress rapidly to osteoarthritis and need a knee replacement. Repairing it can stop that.”

Dougherty had his meniscus removed due to damage after he played sports back in college.

He said if we have the technology, he wants to fix as many as he can.

The procedure takes around 15 minutes and all Dougherty has to do is stitch the tear back together.

He said the sutures will be covered as the meniscus heals.

So far, Dougherty said the results have been fantastic and patients are able to save money and future surgeries on this procedure.

Dion's passion is raising money for charities and long distance running.

When he learned of the tear, he tried to stay optimistic but still had a backup plan.

“Plan B would be probably just lifting weights and doing some really light walking but that is all that I could do," Dion said. "It would have limited my physical ability.”

After learning about Dougherty's procedure and watching some of his surgery videos online, he was confident the doctor could help him.

“Being able to do what you can do and giving back to people is where you get the most satisfaction out of life and being able to hear there was someone here in Northwest Arkansas that was a world class physician that had this new procedure and was going to get me back out on the road, yeah it was like winning the lottery," Dion said.

Dion's surgery was in September and he is now getting ready to run in the Tokyo Marathon in a few weeks.

When the new device was released, there were only about three doctors, including Dougherty, who could perform this procedure.

He said they have since taught other doctors how to repair other patient's who may have suffered a meniscus tear.