Dealing with an orthopedic issue can be difficult. People with an orthopedic problem often struggle with discomfort in daily activities, uncertainty about recovery, and discontent with being unable to do the things they love. It can get scarier when their provider mentions the possibility of surgery.
When it comes to musculoskeletal conditions or injuries, an orthopedic surgeon can help you get the proper treatment. If you have a musculoskeletal affliction and are wondering what procedures orthopedic surgeons perform, here are a few examples:
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is an essential soft tissue structure in your knee. ACL injuries often occur in athletes who play sports involving sudden stops and changes in direction, like football and basketball. However, these injuries could happen to anyone.
Your provider might recommend ACL reconstruction if you:
- are an athlete and want to continue playing sports
- have more than one injured ligament
- have a torn meniscus
- instability in the affected knee
The procedure is arthroscopic. Your surgeon will make small incisions in your knee and remove the torn ligament. They will replace it with a graft taken from another part of your body (autograft) or a deceased donor (allograft). Your surgeon will then secure the tissue graft with screws or other devices.
Joint diseases and injuries can reduce function and mobility. If you are always on the go, this could interfere with your daily life. Sometimes, chronic joint pain might be so severe that you find walking or sleeping difficult, if not entirely impossible. You may need to get surgery on the affected joint when this happens.
Severe pain, stiffness, and swelling in the joint are grounds for joint replacement (arthroplasty). Certain conditions can cause these symptoms, such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Joint fractures
- Joint abnormalities
- Avascular necrosis (inadequate blood supply to the bone)
There are different kinds of joint replacement. Currently, orthopedic surgeons can replace hips, knees, elbows, shoulders, and ankles. During arthroplasty, your surgeon will make incisions and replace the damaged joint with an artificial implant. You’ll need a partial or total joint replacement depending on the severity of the disease or injury.
Rotator Cuff Repair
The rotator cuff is made up of muscles and tendons that support the shoulder. It allows for function and mobility in the shoulder. Damage to the rotator cuff, either from injury or wear and tear, could interfere with daily activities. Rotator cuff repair is recommended if:
- You have a large tear in the rotator cuff
- Symptoms such as pain and swelling persist even after conservative treatment
- There’s weakness and loss of function in your shoulder
- A recent, acute injury caused a tear
In a rotator cuff repair surgery, your surgeon will remove injured tendons and muscles, replacing them with an autograft. The graft tendon is attached to the bone using suture anchors made from metal or dissolvable materials. If there are bone spurs, your provider will remove them, as well.
Tendons are flexible tissues that connect muscles to bones, enabling the body to move and protecting joints from damage. Should a tendon rupture or tear, it could be painful and require surgical intervention. Tendon repair benefits people with:
- A deep cut that severs the tendon
- An injury from contact sports
- An injured or torn tendon due to arthritis
- Persisting pain despite conservative treatments
Your surgeon will remove the damaged tissue from the affected area during tendon repair operations. Then, they’ll sew the torn ends of the tendon back together. If the tendon is too short to stitch, an autograft or allograft will be placed between them to make the ends meet.
If you’re having issues with individual spinal bones, such as damage or slipping out of place, you may need to have them fused to create one solid bone. Doing so will stabilize the spine and protect the discs in between. Spinal fusion can address:
- Herniated disc
- Spondylolisthesis (a slipped disc)
- Spinal stenosis (narrowing of the spinal column)
- Fractured vertebrae or spinal bones
The orthopedic surgeon will take a piece of bone from another body part and place it between the vertebrae. The bone graft will encourage the vertebrae to heal together and form a solid bone. Your doctor may use screws, rods, and plates to provide structural support.
Orthopedic Surgeon Near You In Johnson City, Kingsport, And Bristol, TN
Our bones and joints are crucial when it comes to movement and function. Musculoskeletal conditions or injuries can keep you from enjoying life and going about your day normally.
At Watauga Orthopaedics, we want you to live your life in full motion. If you’re suffering from a severe orthopedic condition, you must be looking for a reputable orthopedic surgeon near you. Our board-certified orthopedic specialists like Dr. Michael Wells and Dr. Timothy Jenkins take pride in their skills and expertise. They can treat a wide range of musculoskeletal conditions and injuries with comprehensive, compassionate care.