Orthopedic surgery is an effective method for resolving many bone and joint conditions. While orthopedists don’t recommend orthopedic surgery as a first-line treatment, it helps treat cases where conservative treatments have failed.
With orthopedic surgery, patients can expect remarkable mobility and flexibility improvements. It often allows them to return to many of their regular activities. Knowing more about orthopedic surgery can help patients make better decisions.
Goals and Objectives
Surgical procedures aim to manipulate tissues to resolve health conditions. They often involve removing or repairing damaged tissue to resolve pain and prevent further damage to the area.
An example of this approach is a discectomy, a surgical procedure that removes damaged cartilage discs in your spine. These discs cushion the spinal vertebrae but can compress nearby nerves if they rupture, causing pain and neurological problems.
Removing damaged disc portions relieves pressure on nearby tissues.
Laminectomy is another common surgery that removes excess tissue called bone spurs that might be within the spinal canal. These overgrowths are a typical effect of aging but can sometimes compress the spinal cord, causing significant pain.
A laminectomy removes excess bone and widens the spinal canal, giving the spinal cord more space and resolving most symptoms.
Another common goal of orthopedic surgery is to bind multiple bones together. It can restrict mobility but can relieve stress on damaged joints due to arthritis or other conditions.
One example is ankle fusion. Your surgeon will fasten adjacent bones with plates and screws to encourage fusion. The arthritic joint will become frozen, relieving pain while permitting movement through other joints.
Providers can perform it after tissue removal, like spinal fusion following a complete discectomy. Once the cartilage disc is removed, adjacent vertebrae are merged to maintain structural integrity.
There are surgical procedures that involve replacing malfunctioning joints with artificial ones. While expensive, these synthetic implants are highly durable and can restore mobility.
An example is hip joint replacement, which uses ceramic, metal, or plastic implants to replace heavily damaged hips.
Orthopedic surgery has two major approaches:
Traditional Open Surgery
Traditional methods require surgeons to have good access to the operation site. This often means having to displace muscle and connective tissue.
Relatively large incisions may be necessary to provide an adequate visual field. While the anesthetized patient won’t feel anything during the procedure, the incisions may cause discomfort during recovery. They may also increase the risk of side effects.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Minimally invasive surgery is a great alternative to traditional surgery. With this approach, surgeons use specialized equipment and techniques to minimize damage.
For instance, these procedures implement arthroscopy, which involves using small cameras and miniature instruments. Arthroscopic techniques reduce the need for large incisions, reducing the trauma on nearby tissues.
Another approach to minimally invasive surgery is using specialized robotics during the procedure. They can provide more accurate views of the operation site and are capable of precise movements. This allows surgeons to work efficiently and effectively.
Minimally invasive surgery requires special equipment and experienced surgeons. It can provide shorter recovery with fewer complications.
Before And After Surgery
Orthopedic surgery follows many of the preparation guidelines for other operations. Orthopedics and other medical professionals will work with you to bolster your health before surgery. You must manage pre-existing conditions and stay active to reduce complications and promote healing.
Your provider will give you a comprehensive checklist to prepare for surgery. That includes modifications to medications that can impact the surgery, dietary changes, and physical therapy.
After the surgery, your doctor will instruct you about bed rest and when you can start with physical therapy exercises. You may also have a dedicated trainer who will work with you as you regain mobility.
As your condition improves, you’ll meet regularly with your provider to track your progress and assess your health.
Orthopedic Surgery In Little Rock, AR
Orthopedic surgery can effectively resolve many issues related to your bones and joints. These operations can remove damaged tissue, fuse bones, or replace worn-out joints. Traditional and minimally invasive procedures are safe and effective, but considering the latter’s benefits may be worth it.
Dr. William Hefley Jr. specializes in minimally-invasive orthopedic surgery in Little Rock, AR. Works closely with patients to provide surgical and non-surgical treatments, promoting an excellent quality of life. Learn more by calling us at (800) 336-2412. You can also use our appointment request form to book a consultation with the best orthopedic surgeon near you.
We look forward to serving you!