Common orthopedic surgeries are arthroscopy (joint surgery), partial or total joint replacement using prosthetics, back surgery, surgery to correct bone defects or remove infections of the bone, and surgery to correct conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome and trigger finger.
The goal of an orthopedist is to help the patient achieve as much functionality as possible in spite of his or her condition.
What to look for in a knee specialist
If you’ve injured your knee or your symptoms of joint degeneration are increasing, you’ll want to see a qualified orthopedist with experience treating conditions of the knee.
The best knee doctor will be someone with many years of experience treating knee injuries and conditions. Some orthopedists may specialize in other areas such as the hip, hand or shoulder. If your injury is sports-related, an orthopedist specializing in sports medicine might be a good fit.
Should you need surgery on your knee or a partial or total knee replacement, choose a doctor who is board certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery.
Common conditions affecting the knee include bursitis, tendinitis, ACL injury, fracture, dislocation, torn meniscus and arthritis.
Bursitis is inflammation of the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the knee joint.
Tendinitis is inflammation of a tendon. In the knee this is usually the patella–the tendon connecting the quadriceps muscle to the shinbone.
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) connects the shinbone to the thighbone. Athletes may injure their ACL.
Sometimes the kneecap can become fractured or dislocated.
Sometimes the meniscus, a piece of cartilage that absorbs the shock between the shinbone and thighbone, can tear if you suddenly twist your knee while weight is borne on it.
Arthritis of the knee can also cause knee pain. The most common is osteoarthritis due to age-related wear and tear.
Some knee conditions can be treated with medications, physical therapy or injections. In more serious cases, arthroscopic surgery can be performed to correct issues with bones or ligaments. Severe arthritis and fractures may require a partial or total knee replacement.
Common conditions affecting the shoulder include bursitis, tendinitis, tendon tears, impingement, dislocation, fracture, and arthritis.
Arthroscopy (minimally-invasive shoulder surgery) can be used to treat bursitis, tendinitis and arthritis of the shoulder.
Bursitis occurs when the fluid-filled sacs that cushion the shoulder joint become inflamed from overuse.
Similarly, tendinitis is when the tendons of the rotator cuff become inflamed.
Impingement occurs when the shoulder blade puts pressure on soft tissues as the arm is lifted away from the body. This can lead to bursitis and tendinitis.
Tendon tears are serious conditions of the shoulder. A complete rupture of the rotator cuff will not heal on its own and requires surgery.
Dislocated shoulders can be corrected without surgery right in the doctor’s office.
Some shoulder fractures can be treated without surgery. However, if the pieces of bone have been displaced from their normal anatomical position, surgery will be necessary.
In cases of severe arthritis, a total shoulder replacement may be recommended.
What is Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?
The carpal tunnel is a narrow passageway for nerves on the underside of the wrist. When the nerves inside become compressed, often due to repetitive hand motions, Carpal Tunnel Syndrome can occur.
The symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome are usually tingling, numbness weakness and discomfort in the hand, wrist and/or arm. Typically, people with carpal tunnel syndrome experience symptoms in the thumb, index, middle or ring fingers, but not the little finger. The sensation may feel like a slight electric shock.
These unpleasant sensations and weakness may make it hard to hold a phone or newspaper. They may wake you up at night. Sometimes “shaking it out” can make the symptoms go away temporarily.
Untreated, severe carpal tunnel syndrome can lead to permanent muscle or nerve damage. Carpal tunnel syndrome can be treated with minimally invasive surgery.
Minimally invasive Surgery for Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
A minimally-invasive surgical procedure to treat carpal tunnel syndrome is now available. Called endoscopic carpal tunnel release surgery, this procedure is done through two half-inch incisions, one in the wrist and one in the palm.
A camera is inserted through one incision, while the tools to perform the procedure are introduced through the other. The surgeon cuts through the ligament that is constricting the carpal tunnel, making more room for the nerves.
Endoscopic carpal tunnel surgery has a shorter recovery period than open surgery. It is possible to resume work in less than a week if you do not need to perform repetitive motions with the treated hand. Talk to your doctor about the recommended recovery period for your circumstances.
Trigger finger is a term used to describe a locking of the finger due to inflammation around the tendon. The clinical name for trigger finger is stenosing tenosynovitis.
People with trigger finger may find that their finger is permanently bent. Sometimes the finger bends or straightens with a snap.
Your doctor may recommend anti-inflammatory medications, special exercises, rest or a splint to try to release your trigger finger. Steroid injections may also be effective.
If you don’t respond to these treatments, percutaneous release or surgery may be recommended. During percutaneous release, a needle is inserted into the area around the affected tendon. Using ultrasound to visualize the area, the doctor will move the needle around to break apart the material that is constricting the motion of the tendon.
During trigger finger surgery, the doctor will cut open the part of the tendon sheath that is causing the constriction.
Our center is a state of the art surgery center compliant with all current certification requirements for federal, state and local governments. Our facility is designed for efficient expedition of patient care. We have multiple operatories, procedures and recovery rooms designed to enhance the surgical experience from the moment the patient arrives till they have been fully discharged. Our staff is trained in every aspect of patient care that we deliver here at Tempe Ambulatory Surgical Center.