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5 Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery

Joint pain and dysfunction are common problems for both women and men, and they tend to become more common with age and activity. Thanks to medical advances, we can now diagnose and treat many joint problems with joint arthroscopy or arthroscopic surgery.

As a leading orthopedics surgeon in Vestavia Hills, Alabama, Thomas E. Powell, MD, has extensive experience in arthroscopic surgery, recommending the minimally invasive technique for many patients at Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine. Here, learn about five important benefits associated with arthroscopic joint treatment.

Arthroscopy basics

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive type of surgery that uses a scope (an arthroscope) equipped with a tiny camera to see inside your joints. The camera sends images back to a video monitor, enabling your doctor to examine your joints and perform many types of joint procedures without needing to make a large incision.

During arthroscopic surgery, Dr. Powell makes 2-3 small incisions near your joint. He uses these incisions to insert the scope, along with other instruments specifically designed for arthroscopic procedures.

Arthroscopy can support a wide array of joint treatments, including surgeries focused on repairing damage to the joint structure and the tissues that support it. That includes traumatic injuries and wear-and-tear damage caused by arthritis. Dr. Powell also uses arthroscopy to diagnose joint problems that are difficult to assess using X-rays and other imaging.

Benefits of arthroscopy

Arthroscopy’s minimally invasive approach to joint surgery supports several key benefits, like the five listed here.

1. Less bleeding during surgery

The small incisions used in arthroscopy mean less bleeding at the incision sites. In fact, closing your incisions takes just a few sutures or special surgical adhesives. The minimally invasive technique used in arthroscopy also causes less bleeding and less tissue damage around the joint. 

2. Less pain after surgery

Less tissue damage also means less pain following your procedure. You can also expect less swelling and joint discomfort compared with traditional joint surgery that uses large incisions. Less postoperative discomfort also means you won’t need as much medication to manage your discomfort, and you can take medication for less time.

3. Lower risk of complications

The risk of complications in joint surgery is already low. But smaller incisions and less tissue damage could lower that risk even more. Smaller incisions expose less tissue to germs during and after surgery, and less tissue disruption reduces the risk of issues like nerve damage or bleeding. Smaller incisions also mean smaller scars afterward.

4. Improved visualization

The camera of an arthroscope is designed to capture highly detailed, high-definition, real-time images, allowing Dr. Powell to closely evaluate your joint. The images can be magnified many times on the video monitor, supporting greater accuracy and precision in diagnosis and treatment.

5. Quicker recovery

Traditional joint surgery cuts through tissues that support joint movement, requiring a longer recovery period to restore normal joint function. Arthroscopy preserves healthier tissue, supporting a faster return to normal function and activities. This benefit is especially important to athletes and anyone who leads an active lifestyle.

Although arthroscopy offers significant benefits, it’s not always the ideal choice for every patient. Dr. Powell performs a thorough evaluation of your joint to determine the optimal approach for you.

To learn more about arthroscopy and other therapies that can help your joints stay healthy, call 205-606-5232 or request an appointment online with Powell Orthopedics and Sports Medicine today.

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