Arthroscopic joint replacement is one of the most popular and successful surgical procedures in orthopedics, with over a million procedures performed every year in the United States.
Your hip or knee joint can become severely damaged by arthritis or injury, making it difficult for you to perform everyday activities – such as walking, driving, and climbing stairs. For more active individuals, a damaged joint can put an end to playing their favorite sport or performing athletic activities, such as running and hiking.
When nonsurgical treatments such as medications, injections, physical therapy, or weight loss
have not completely succeeded in reducing your pain, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic joint surgery.
Advantages of Arthroscopic Surgery
Arthroscopic joint replacement is a less invasive alternative to traditional open joint surgery. It’s often recommended when arthritis or traumatic injury have seriously affected a joint, usually the hip or knee.
Below are some of the major advantages of arthroscopic joint surgery as compared to traditional types of surgery:
Faster Recovery Time
Patients who undergo arthroscopic joint replacement surgery tend to heal more quickly, and they are therefore able to begin rehabilitation sooner after the surgery. This means you may be able to return to work and to most normal activities sooner, too.
Often, many patients regain a degree of joint movement after 4 to 6 weeks, and they may regain close to full joint function at about 8 weeks. You may be fully or almost fully healed after undergoing physical therapy for about 3 months.
Less Pain and Swelling
Minimally invasive procedures such as arthroscopic joint replacement surgery generally produce less pain, swelling, and discomfort than open joint procedures. The incisions are much smaller and therefore create less exposure from the open skin.
Shorter Hospital Stay
Patients usually have a shorter hospital stay of 1 to 5 days, as opposed to 3 to 7 days for traditional joint replacement procedures.
Potentially Lower Costs
A shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery can mean savings of several thousand dollars in
medical bills. Contact your health insurance carrier or Medicare to compare the costs of orthoscopic surgery vs. traditional surgery.
Less Scarring and Damage
Because the surgery is performed with just small incisions, arthroscopic joint replacement surgery may also be a sound aesthetic decision. Arthroscopic joint replacement causes less damage to the skin and to the surrounding muscles, tendons, and ligaments because the instruments require less of an opening in your skin. The surgery also causes less loss of blood and has a lower risk of infection.
Like all major surgeries, arthroscopic joint replacement may present complications, although this is very uncommon. The success rate is over 90 percent, but some problems can occur – such as joint or wound infection, blood clots, or damage to the nerves or blood vessels near the joint.
Orthopedic Surgeon in San Antonio
Whether you are an athlete rehabilitating an injury or a patient dealing with debilitating arthritis, Dr. Goletz and his staff are dedicated to providing you with the best patient-centered care available.
If you are in need of an orthopedic surgeon, or merely gathering information about the subject, our goal is to provide you with as much information as possible in a comfortable, supportive environment.
The Center for Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine is located next to Methodist Texsan Hospital in Balcones Heights. Contact us today by calling (210) 692-7400 to schedule an appointment with one of our physicians. We look forward to serving you.