In the past when someone needed knee surgery, hip surgery, or shoulder surgery, the surgeon would have to make large incisions. Today, thanks to small instruments and fiber-optic surgical technology, those same medical procedures can be performed with much smaller incisions via arthroscopy.
We now can enjoy the benefits of arthroscopic surgery, which is minimally invasive joint surgery. As technology used in plastic surgery became smaller and smaller so that the patient would have smaller or no scarring, this technology has been harnessed in orthopedic surgery as well.
Patients can have arthroscopic surgery to diagnose and repair issues in the elbow, hip, shoulder, knee, ankle, and even the wrist. Let’s take a look at some of the major benefits of this minimally invasive joint surgery and how it might benefit you:
Why Should I Have Minimally Invasive Joint Surgery?
There are many reasons why arthroscopic surgery is preferred over traditional open surgery, including the following:
- Smaller Scars – Because the incisions are smaller, the scars left behind are also much smaller.
- Less Healing Time – Since there is less cutting of skin and other tissues, the body takes less time to heal and recover from the surgery.
- Less Risk of Infection – Smaller incisions mean there is less exposure of your internal organs and tissues to outside contaminants. The skin normally protects your organs from external germs, so the smaller the incision, the better the protection.
- Less Blood Loss – Because the surgeon has to cut through less tissue in order to perform arthroscopy, the patient will lose less blood during the procedure than during traditional open surgery.
- Both Diagnosis and Treatment – Not only can a surgeon view and diagnose joint issues during arthroscopy, but repair of the joint can also be done during the same surgery. You may not need a second surgery to fully treat your injured joint.
- Outpatient Surgery – After minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery, as long as the patient does not have a temperature or infection, they are usually allowed to go home the same day.
What Can Be Treated During Arthroscopic Surgery?
Because arthroscopy is specifically indicated for joint repair, an orthopedic surgeon can use this surgery to complete a number of different procedures, including the following:
- Removal of bone fragments in the joint
- Repair of a torn ligament
- Removal of scar tissue inside a joint
- Repair of joint linings that are inflamed or injured
- Removal, replacing, and/or refining of damaged cartilage
How Does Arthroscopic Surgery Work?
After your orthopedist has evaluated your injured joint and you have had an MRI or other scan, the surgeon may decide that surgical intervention is the best way to alleviate your arthritis or other injury.
During arthroscopy, you will be placed under anesthesia. The physician will make one or several tiny incisions, and the doctor will then insert the arthroscope into your joint.
The arthroscope will capture real-time video and transmit it to a video monitor there in the surgery room. Your surgeon will then be able to zoom in and out to see inside your joint. The surgeon can evaluate and make repairs right there during the procedure. If the damage is severe, however, you may require follow-up surgery.
What to Expect After Arthroscopy
After you are awake from the surgery, your surgeon will determine whether you are ready to go home or if you should stay at the facility. If you have no infections or other reactions from the surgery, the surgeon will likely clear you for going home.
Someone else will have to drive you, because you will not be in a condition to drive right after the procedure. The benefit of this outpatient surgery is that you will be able to recover in the comfort of your own house rather than in a hospital room.
Arthroscopic Surgery in Austin, Texas
Because arthroscopy involves much less cutting than before, this type of surgery has become much less intimidating. Whether you have arthritis pain, knee pain, hip pain, or shoulder pain, your orthopedic surgeon at All-Star Orthopedics of Austin can help you find long-lasting relief.
Contact us today to schedule an appointment by calling (512) 346-4933 or request an appointment online, and get back to enjoying the lifestyle you love!