Houston Arthroscopic Surgery

Houston Arthroscopic Surgery

Joint pain and arthritis are among the most common causes of severe, persistent pain for individuals in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 15 million people report severe joint-related pain each year, and almost 50% of adults with arthritis suffer from persistent discomfort.

However, arthritis is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg in terms of potential causes of joint pain. Trauma, overuse and strain-related injuries, sports injuries, and other causes can leave patients suffering and in pain. In some of these cases, arthroscopic surgery may be able to alleviate the pain.

Contact us, your Houston Orthopaedic Surgeons to schedule a consultation on your joint pain or arthritis.

What Is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is a type of minimally-invasive procedure used to visualize, diagnose, and treat joint-related problems. Surgeons make a small incision in the skin, and then use very small instruments, including a small camera and light, to:

  • Visually see the interior of the joint
  • Diagnose the exact problem causing pain
  • Surgically repair or correct the cause

If you are suffering with recurrent, significant joint pain, contact us at one of our 5 Houston Orthopaedic Surgical Centers. There is help available.

Why Is Arthroscopic Surgery Needed?

Arthroscopic surgery may be needed for any number of reasons, but is rarely a first step in arriving at a diagnosis or providing treatment. First, doctors will consider a patient’s medical history, and then administer X-rays in an attempt to visualize the joint’s condition. MRI and CT scans may also be necessary. Arthroscopic surgery provides a final, definitive diagnosis and offers surgeons a better look at soft tissues that may not appear in X-rays, including:

  • Cartilage
  • Ligaments
  • Muscles
  • Tendons

With that being said, there are a few situations in which arthroscopic surgery is often required, including the following:

  • Synovitis and Other Types of Inflammation: If the lining in the joint is inflamed, arthroscopic surgery may be necessary.
  • Injury: Acute or chronic injury of the shoulder, knee, wrist, or loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage may require surgical intervention.

In addition to standalone procedures, arthroscopy is sometimes used to augment standard surgery, as well. For instance, rotator cuff surgery and carpal tunnel release are two such situations. Others include repairing or resectioning torn cartilage from the knee or shoulder, reconstruction of the knee’s anterior cruciate ligament, or removing loose bone or cartilage in a joint.

How Is Arthroscopic Surgery Performed?

While this is a minimally-invasive procedure, it will still require anesthesia and a specialized surgical facility or hospital operating room. Once the appropriate anesthesia has been administered, the surgeon makes a small incision in the skin, about the size of a buttonhole. The arthroscope will be inserted through this incision, and other incisions may be necessary to allow other tools to access the joint.

A light and camera are inserted first, allowing the surgeon to visually inspect the joint and determine the appropriate course of action. Once the surgery is over, the tools are removed and the incisions will be covered with a dressing. Recovery usually takes very little time (this is an outpatient procedure in most cases).

Possible Complications of Arthroscopic Surgery

While uncommon, there are some possible complications from this procedure. Infection is perhaps the most common, but blot clots, swelling, and damage to the nerves may also occur in some instances.

Is Arthroscopic Surgery Right for You?

If you are suffering from joint or arthritis pain and standard treatments seem to be doing no good, contact us to set up an appointment with one of our Houston Based Orthopaedic Surgeons. Arthroscopic surgery may be the key to identifying the underlying condition, correcting it, and giving you back your range of movement and quality of life.