Orthopaedic Surgery FAQ
- What are the most common sports medicine injuries?
- What is total joint replacement?
- What is knee arthroscopy, and when is it recommended?
- What are the benefits of arthroscopy?
- What is articular cartilage restoration?
Sports Medicine Oregon specializes in the treatment of both athletically and non-athletically caused injuries. The most commonly treated sports medicine injuries are ligament tears. Ligament tears occur when a ligament is stretched beyond its normal range, which can be caused by a sudden decrease in speed, twisting, or incorrectly landing after a jump. Ligament tears occur most often in the ACL, the Achilles tendon, and the rotator cuff. A surgical approach is commonly recommended in the treatment of ligament tears because ligaments are unable to heal themselves. Based on the extent of the injury and the patient’s goals, a combination of physical therapy and changes in lifestyle may also be recommended.
Total joint replacement is a surgical procedure consisting of the complete removal and replacement of a diseased or damaged joint with a prosthetic implant, also known as a prosthesis. The prosthetic implant is designed to replicate the natural pain free movement of the joint.
Total joint replacement surgery is recommended for patients who suffer from osteoarthritis (a degenerative joint disease), rheumatoid arthritis (an autoimmune disease which causes inflammation in the cartilage), or for patients who do not benefit from more conservative treatments, such as medication or physical therapy. The most commonly replaced joints are the knee, hip, and shoulder joints, but total joint replacement procedures can be preformed on the ankle, foot, elbow, and fingers as well.
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a small camera is used in the diagnosis or treatment of knee problems. A knee arthroscopic surgical procedure is performed through two small incisions on the knee. A fiber-optic camera, which broadcasts the live video of the interior of the knee joint to the surgical team, is placed in the first incision. If treatment is required, pencil-sized instruments are inserted into the second incision in order to repair the damaged or diseased areas.
Arthroscopy is commonly recommended for patients with knee pain caused by inflammation, cartilage deterioration, or cartilage or ligament tears.
Compared to traditional open surgery, smaller incisions are used during an arthroscopic procedure. Due to the size of the incisions, there is less disruption to the surrounding muscle and tissue during surgery. Because of the decrease in tissue disruption, patients can typically expect less scarring, a shorter hospital stay, and a reduced recovery time period.
Due to the potential benefits of arthroscopy, this technique will be employed whenever possible. Several factors will be considered when recommending arthroscopy including the patient’s age and fitness level, as well as the cause and extent of the joint pain. In addition to the treatment of knee problems, arthroscopy is also used during many surgical reconstruction procedures, including hip replacement, shoulder replacement, and ACL reconstruction.
Articular cartilage restoration is a surgical procedure used to relieve joint pain by stimulating the growth of new cartilage in place of damaged cartilage. Articular cartilage is smooth tissue that covers the ends of the bones of a joint, allowing a frictionless and pain free movement. Due to wear and tear, injury, or disease, the cartilage becomes damaged, creating an increasing amount of pain and friction during movement.
Cartilage restoration is more commonly employed in the treatment of ankle and shoulder pain. There are several methods that can be used to stimulate the growth of new cartilage, including creating a new blood supply to the damaged area (microfracture), stimulating the subchondral bone to create a healing response (also known as drilling or abrasion arthroplasty), or through the transfer of healthy cartilage from one section of the joint to the damaged area (osteochondral autograft transplantation).