Whether you suffered an injury and have severe joint pain or you’ve spent years struggling with chronic joint problems, your road to recovery is much easier thanks to arthroscopy.
Our skilled team at ROC in Tualatin and Oregon City, Oregon, specializes in arthroscopy, a procedure uniquely designed for joint problems. Arthroscopy allows us to visually examine the joint and determine the best treatment for easing your pain and restoring optimal joint movement.
Here, we explain four exceptional benefits of arthroscopy for people with joint issues.
Minimally invasive care
Minimally invasive surgery means you can undergo joint procedures without a long, painful open incision. Arthroscopy is minimally invasive because we make an incision that’s typically no larger than one-half inch, and often smaller.
We can use a small opening thanks to advanced instruments like the arthroscope. The scope is a slim tube equipped with fiber optic lighting and a high-definition camera.
We slide the scope through your tiny incision and into the joint. The light makes all of the tissues visible, while the camera sends images of the joint to a monitor.
Here’s the top reason arthroscopy is so important for people with joint problems: It allows us to easily examine the inside of your joint. Once we can see what’s happening in the joint, we can accomplish the next two reasons arthroscopy is a game-changer: determining an accurate diagnosis and repairing the problem.
Diagnostic imaging like X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasound can produce great images of your joint, but they can miss critical details. Sometimes, it’s essential to look inside the joint — something we can safely do arthroscopy.
Visually examining the tissues with arthroscopic surgery is the only way to precisely define the extent of your joint problem, determine if you need surgery to repair the damaged tissues, and, if so, decide which approach or procedure is best for you.
Precise joint repair
Arthroscopy was originally used only to diagnose the problem and plan open surgery. Today, we have advanced tools that allow us to perform minimally invasive arthroscopic surgery. In most cases, we take care of the surgical repair right after your diagnostic arthroscopy.
We may be able to slide the surgical instrument along the arthroscope and take care of your procedure with one small opening. Or we may need to make a few additional tiny incisions to insert the surgical instruments.
All of the surgical tools we use during arthroscopic surgery are specially designed to fit through a small opening. In fact, we have scopes and surgical instruments that fit nearly every joint, from a large hip, shoulder, or knee, to smaller joints like elbows and ankles.
When performing arthroscopic surgery, we use the monitor to view the targeted tissues and manually manipulate the tools from outside your body.
Virtually every type of joint problem can be repaired with arthroscopic surgery, including:
- Meniscus tears
- Cartilage damage
- ACL ligament injuries
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Labral tears
- Frozen shoulder
- Biceps tendon tear
- Bone spurs
These are only a few procedures frequently done with arthroscopic surgery.
If you ask our patients what they like the most about arthroscopy, they’ll mention their speedier rehabilitation. Rehabilitation is still hard work, but after arthroscopic surgery, you get back in the game much faster than after open surgery.
Your rehabilitation takes less time for several reasons. For starters, arthroscopic surgery causes less pain so you can start moving sooner. The small incision also heals faster. Most importantly, we can usually preserve the muscles.
During open surgery, the incision cuts through all of the muscles and connective tissues. By comparison, we gently stretch an opening in the muscle fibers without cutting them when using arthroscopy. Because the muscles don’t need a long time to heal, your rehabilitation progresses more quickly.