Common Types of Orthopedic Surgery

A number of health issues can plague people, making mobility and physical activity difficult. Orthopedic surgery may be the prescribed treatment to resolve some of these problems. Skilled surgeons perform these operations on patients every day, some of them more often than others.

Joint Replacement

Joint replacement may involve a number of different joints such as the knee, shoulder, ankle, or hip. Often patients requiring this procedure have experienced significant health issues with arthritis or an injury. Over time with these joint issues, severe range of motion problems set in, making it difficult for a patient to walk or use an extremity. Pain is also common with these issues. The procedure usually involves replacing a damaged joint with a plastic or metal joint that will provide all of the pain-free range of motion a patient needs.

Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff holds the shoulder in place and makes it possible to move the arm freely. A sports injury or a fall can lead to a tear in the rotator cuff, which leads to severe pain and reduced range of motion in the arm. Surgery is an effective solution to relieve discomfort and restore movement in the arm. After physical therapy, many patients regain measurable strength and function of the ailing shoulder.

Spinal Surgery

Many issues can affect the spine, necessitating an operation. Back pain is a common complaint for many people. Sometimes this pain is associated with reduced physical function such as walking. A physician will likely recommend less invasive treatment options prior to orthopedic surgery. However, if these treatments fail, then an operation may be the prescribed course. Common procedures include spinal decompression and spinal fusion. With fusion, the physician attaches vertebrae to control the amount of stretching that occurs between nerves.

ACL Reconstruction

The anterior cruciate ligament is responsible for stabilizing the knee. If an injury occurs, this ligament could rupture. The treatment to repair the ligament involves removing the torn ACL and replacing it. The replacement ACL could be made using tissue from the patient, or the doctor might use tissue from an organ donor. After inserting the new ACL, screws or tendon grafts will hold it in place.

Arthroscopic Surgery

When joints cause problems for people, doctors may need to explore them to diagnose the issues and recommend treatment. To perform this diagnosis, a physician will use arthroscopic surgery. Common joints for exploring with an arthroscope include the hip, knee, and shoulder. The arthroscope is a small tube with a light and lens on the end. By inserting the arthroscope into the joint, the physician can see the internal area to determine what type of treatment is warranted. Because the incision for this procedure is small, patients usually recover quickly.

Because orthopedic surgery can be a significant event, doctors do not approach it lightly. Generally, professionals will exhaust other options such as physical therapy and medications before moving forward with a procedure. If this treatment is necessary, patients can look forward to physical improvement after finishing.

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