Arthroscopic surgery has revolutionized orthopedic medicine over the years. This versatile procedure can both diagnose and treat many conditions of the joints, greatly reducing both treatment and recovery time.
Before arthroscopy was developed, an orthopedic surgeon could not see the muscles and tendons inside of a joint with a high level of accuracy without actually cutting the area open. The need for invasive exploratory surgery is now greatly reduced or eliminated through the use of arthroscopic procedures.
In an arthroscopic procedure, Dr. Hefley creates a small incision and inserts an arthroscope, an instrument that is about the size of a pencil. The arthroscope contains a camera that projects images of the hard and soft tissues inside the joint onto a monitor. This magnified view allows the surgeon to make a diagnosis from information that just can’t be seen from other tests, such as X-rays or MRIs.
Some conditions diagnosed through arthroscopy include:
- Tendon damage
- Cartilage damage
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
Once a diagnosis is determined, arthroscopic surgery may be performed through additional small incisions to the joint area. Precision instruments are used at the exact location needed to repair damaged joints. Advances in arthroscopic surgery allow some procedures to be performed at the same time as diagnosis. Torn cartilage or tendons may be repaired, and biopsies or fluid aspiration may further aid in diagnosis. Some injuries diagnosed in this way can be healed with the assistance of regenerative medicine, such as PRP or Stem Cell Therapy.
Most of the time, arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis without the need for general anesthesia. Patients can go home the same day of the procedure and many do not need pain medication during recovery. Although arthroscopy is a surgical procedure, patients experience less pain and faster recovery times with these advanced minimally-invasive techniques.
Patients with joint pain and injuries in the Little Rock area can benefit from Dr. William Hefley’s advanced knowledge and experience with arthroscopy. Call (800) 336-2412 or request an appointment online, and get started towards your recovery.