Modern medicine has made incredible advances and, when it comes to surgery, the advent of arthroscopy is a shining example. Arthroscopy provides unparalleled diagnostic and treatment access to your joints, allowing orthopedic surgeons to identify and remedy whatever may ail you with the least amount of disruption to your body.
Steven E. Nolan, MD, has more than 20 years of experience under his arthroscopic belt, helping patients in Sugar Land, Texas, overcome musculoskeletal issues of all kinds using this minimally invasive technique.
If you’d like to explore some of the amazing benefits of arthroscopy, here are three to get you started.
The word arthroscopy comes from the Greek words “arthro” and “skopein,” which mean “joint” and “to look,” respectively. Together, they describe what arthroscopy allows us to do: Look inside your joint. And we mean really look.
Traditionally, the best way to take a peek at what’s going on inside your body is through diagnostic imaging, such as X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, and PET scans. While these valuable tools provide great first-line assessments, they’re limited in what they can show us. The best way to evaluate your joint problem has always been, and will always be, taking a firsthand look.
But rather than opening the area up wide, we can now insert a small lighted camera that delivers high-definition, three-dimensional images straight to a monitor in real time. Think of this foray into your body as the ultimate spy mission, using barely-detectable equipment to snake around and into your joint to give us an idea about what’s causing your problem.
Now couple this incredibly effective diagnostic feature with our ability to treat your problem at the same time. Once Dr. Nolan gains a clear picture of the issue, he can use equally small tools to go in and correct the issue, from removing damaged cartilage to repairing ligaments, making it the ultimate all-in-one tool.
As we mentioned above, the beauty of using an arthroscope is its minimal entry point. This means we only need to make very small incisions, through which we thread the camera and tools. In more traditional, open surgery, we cut through whatever was between us and your medical issue, which added the potential for collateral damage to your tissue.
And when we’re dealing with joints like your knees or shoulders, you want to preserve as much of the soft tissue as possible so you don’t lose any crucial support in your joint.
The smaller incisions also mean that your risks for infection are considerably lower, as is any loss of blood.
When you have an issue in one of your major joints, we want to find the best way possible to repair it quickly so you’re not sidelined for too long. Arthroscopy answers that call in several ways. First, Dr. Nolan performs arthroscopy on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to go home afterward — no hospital stays!
Because arthroscopy avoids collateral tissue damage, there’s less swelling after the procedure and less healing that needs to take place. Instead of your body spreading itself thin to repair and rebuild surrounding tissue, it can concentrate all of its healing resources on the area that’s the original source of your problem.
While we’re not saying you’ll be able to skip out of our doors after your arthroscopic procedure, your road to recovery is greatly reduced and you’ll be moving freely again, without pain, in far less time than with an open surgery.
If you’d like to explore how arthroscopy can benefit you, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.