It is a standard practice among orthopedic doctors to exhaust conservative treatments first when addressing musculoskeletal problems. However, there are cases where orthopedic doctors have to consider surgical intervention as the first-line treatment or the best solution.
A good case in point is an injury that has caused a connective tissue to get completely torn. Surgery is necessary in order to fully restore the function of the structure and prevent potentially serious complications.
In this blog, we’ll discuss a few types of injuries for which orthopedic surgery is often necessary.
Rotator Cuff Tear
This type of injury occurs when the rotator cuff, which is the group of muscles and tendons that provide the shoulder with its full range of motion and stability, gets ripped or frayed.
Recurrent pain, which prevents you from sleeping on the affected side; difficulty moving your arm; muscle weakness; and cracking sensation when moving your arm are some of the symptoms of a rotator cuff tear.
If you have a complete rotator cuff tear, your orthopedic doctor will recommend surgery to help you fully regain the normal function of your shoulder and prevent you from permanently losing the ability to move it.
Which type of surgery your doctor will recommend will depend on the extent of the damage to your rotator cuff. For instance, if the tendon is too damaged to get reattached to your arm bone, your surgeon may opt for a tendon transfer, in which they will relocate a healthy tendon nearby to replace the non-working one.
Hip Labral Tear
A hip labral tear is an injury to the hip labrum – the tough, crescent-shaped, specialized piece of cartilage that holds together the ball and socket parts of the hip and distributes pressure during movements.
If you have a hip labral tear, you will likely experience pain, a restricted range of motion in your hip, and a feeling as though your hip is locking up.
Surgery is necessary in many cases of hip labral tears to fully restore hip stability, range of motion, and overall function; and to prevent osteoarthritis in the future. Labral surgery (repair or reconstruction) may be performed through arthroscopy, a procedure done through small incisions.
Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear
An ACL tear is a rip in the anterior cruciate ligament – the ligament in the knee that connects your thigh bone to your shinbone.
Common symptoms of a torn ACL include severe pain, rapid swelling, loss of range of motion, inability to continue the activity, and a popping sensation in the knee.
If you have a partial ACL tear, your orthopedic doctor may first explore nonsurgical methods; however, surgery may be inevitable if you experience repeated episodes of knee instability that affect surrounding structures including the cartilage or meniscus. If what you have is a complete tear, you need ACL surgery (reconstruction)as the first-line treatment to lower your risk for arthritis and to prevent deterioration of your knee cartilage, among other complications.
Orthopedic Surgery in Little Rock, AR
At Bowen Hefley Orthopedics, Dr. William Hefley, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, is a renowned expert in the minimally invasive technique. This means that should you need surgery for your musculoskeletal injury or any other problem, you can count on him to get you back to doing the things you love in no time.