Are joint problems completely ruining your life? If that’s the case, you need to find a treatment that works — and fast. Conservative treatments for joint pain may only get you so far, until the pain wins yet again. So what options do you have to get your active lifestyle back?
At Alpha Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, our skilled team of doctors may have just what you need to kick the pain and get back on your feet. Our surgeons specialize in a minimally invasive type of surgery called arthroscopy, which can help resolve some of your joint problems.
What is an arthroscopy?
An arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgical procedure that’s used when you have joint issues. It can be used to examine, diagnose, and treat issues within many of the large joints in your body. Arthroscopy is usually used when you’ve tried all other conservative treatments with little to no relief.
For this procedure, our surgeons use a small instrument to see inside of your joint, called an arthroscope. On the arthroscope, there’s a camera and a light attached so that our surgeons can see a magnified image of the inside of your joint, usually on a monitor in the operating room.
When the arthroscope is in your joint, our surgeons are able to see all the structures, such as the ligaments and bones, in your joint. This procedure is preferred over open surgery because it only requires tiny incisions in your skin, that are also known as ports. This means you’ll have less scarring and a quicker recovery.
Joint problems treated with arthroscopy
At Alpha Orthopedics, we use arthroscopy to treat a variety of joint problems. Although not all of the joints in your body can be treated with this type of procedure, our surgeons use it for some of the main joints in your body, including:
Usually before a joint arthroscopy, our surgeons will send you for imaging, such as an X-ray or an MRI. This can help detect tears in your muscles or ligaments, so they know what to expect in your joint. Common injuries that arthroscopy can help are:
- Rotator cuff tears
- ACL tears
- Meniscal injuries
- Labral tears
Arthroscopy can also be used to fix loose bone pieces and inflammation in your joint lining. If the injury or damage is too much to be fixed with the arthroscopy, our surgeons may have to take an open approach to correctly treat the problem.
What you can expect from surgery
Because an arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, you can expect much less recovery than from traditional open surgery. On the day of your procedure, you’ll be under sedation or anesthesia while our surgeon is looking in your joint in the operating room.
While performing the arthroscopy, our surgeons are looking for any abnormalities or damage to the bone or other structures. For example, while performing a knee arthroscopy, we may find damage to your meniscus or to the surface of your patella. If the damage is able to be fixed, our surgeons will use tiny instruments that fit into the small incisions in your skin.
After surgery, depending on what you had done, you’ll usually be able to go home the same day. You may have some pain, but it’s a much shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery. Your surgeon will probably recommend rest, along with ice and elevation to keep the swelling down the first few days after your procedure.
The amount of time it takes for you to completely heal depends on what procedure you had done and the amount of damage you had in your joint. Following your recovery program and physical therapy, you should be able to return to your normal activities.
If you’re done dealing with joint pain and discomfort, call one of our conveniently located offices in Texas, or book an appointment with one of our doctors online today.