Advanced Arthroscopic Technique Is Helping to Speed Recovery Time for Santa Rosa Orthopaedic Patients

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Patients with advanced joint issues are now able to resume a normal activity level much more quickly after undergoing arthroscopic procedures, says Santa Rosa Orthopaedics Surgery Team.

Santa Rosa Orthopedics
Most patients are able to undergo arthroscopic surgery on an outpatient basis and are back home just hours after the surgery, and recovery time is much faster than open joint surgery.

More than 600,000 arthroscopic surgeries are performed annually in the U.S. and the vast majority of those surgeries (more than 80 percent) are knee surgeries. Arthroscopic surgery is commonly used to treat meniscal tears and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) injuries (approximately 250,000 patients every year). Today this procedure is also being used to help relieve pain in arthritis patients at Santa Rosa Orthopaedics. Arthroscopic surgeries outcomes are generally highly successful, although variations pertaining to pain relief reported by patients may vary depending on age, level of activity, follow-up therapy and other factors.

Santa Rosa Orthopaedics provides the latest technology in joint surgery to patients suffering from otherwise debilitating joint issues, including arthroscopic surgery. Arthroscopy (arthroscopic surgery) is a cutting-edge surgical technique that makes it possible for a surgeon to examine a joint visually with the aid of a small fiberoptic camera called an arthroscope, an instrument that resembles a long tube with a miniature camera on the business end. Arthroscopic surgery is used on larger joints, such as the knee or shoulder but it can also be done on the hip, ankle, elbow, and wrist.

When Arthroscopy Is Called For

Normally, in a healthy joint, the ligaments resemble white cables and the cartilage will be smooth and white and the fluid surrounding the joint is clear, there are no loose pieces of tissue in the joint. Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons which will cause the ligaments and cartilage to take on an abnormal color and shape and debris may also be present surrounding the joint.

The process of diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history and a physical examination. This is frequently followed by ultrasound, computed tomography (CT scan), or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) before performing an arthroscopy, as a way to make sure that any issues that require surgery can be effectively addressed with arthroscopy.

During an arthroscopic procedure, the arthroscope is inserted into the joint through a small cut or incision. The arthroscope is designed with its own light source and video camera. During arthroscopic surgery images from the camera are projected onto a video monitor, providing a clear picture of the joint and any potential problems.

Arthroscopy is used to:

  • diagnose a joint problem
  • perform surgery to repair tendons or ligaments
  • remove a loose or foreign body (such as a bone fragment or cartilage)
  • monitor a disease or the effectiveness of a treatment

Arthroscopic surgery is an extremely valuable tool for all orthopaedic patients including high performance athletes, particularly since it is easier on the patient when compared to "open" surgery. Most patients are able to undergo arthroscopic surgery on an outpatient basis and are back home just hours after the surgery, and recovery time is much faster than open joint surgery.

It generally takes 4-6 weeks for the joint to recover following arthroscopic surgery. Most patients go back to work or resume daily activities within just a few days. A specific activity and rehabilitation program may be suggested which will help speed recovery and protect future joint function.

SRO has set the model for exceptional orthopedic care for more than 60 years. The SRO multidisciplinary team of orthopaedic experts is highly skilled at performing all types of orthopeadic surgeries and treatments including Arthroscopic Surgery. In addition, SRO offers a broad range of nonsurgical and surgical treatments aimed at conditions that commonly affect bones, joints, tendons connective tissues and ligaments. To make an appointment or to learn more about SRO Orthopedic Surgeons, visit our website.

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John Beilharz
since: 12/2013
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Santa Rosa Orthopaedics
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