TMH Living Well: Consider arthroscopy for joint scopes and repair
October 30, 2015
Are you living with pain in your joints due to injury or arthritis but are spooked by surgery? Consider arthroscopy. It's one of the less invasive forms of surgery you can have. It can be completed on an outpatient basis, may take less than an hour, and incisions are usually just a quarter inch long or less. It's the champ when it comes to minimally invasive surgeries.
"We insert a high-definition camera through a small incision inside the joint, giving us a clear, precise look at the joint, soft tissue, cartilage and bone. If we see a tear or another problem, we then go ahead and repair it," said Dr. Kevin Borchard with The Memorial Hospital's Northwest Colorado Orthopaedic & Total Joint Center, the website for which is http://www.nwtotaljoint.comhttp://www.nwtotaljoint.com..
Maybe you've heard someone say they had a knee scope — that's arthroscopy. If they also tell you they had their ACL repaired, there's a good chance that arthroscopy was used as well. What's great about this procedure is that it's used to both diagnose and treat.
"Knee scopes are the most common use of arthroscopy and are typically used to treat a torn meniscus, injured cartilage or ligaments. The second most common use of arthroscopy are shoulder scopes," Borchard said. Both are done at The Memorial Hospital.
Arthroscopy is used to remove loose bone fragments, repair damage to torn cartilage meniscus and ligaments, treat inflamed joints and ease pain caused by scar tissue. Arthroscopy is not new, but advances in technology continue to make it better. Surgeons use small instruments and devices to connect tissue and to anchor injured tissue to bones.
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"With shoulder scopes, I often see people who are middle-aged or older who are dealing with rotator cuff tears, bicep tendon tears, tendonitis, or arthritis in the shoulder or AC joint. Younger people or athletes with instability or recurrent dislocations or other injuries can also be treated with arthroscopy," Borchard said.
With arthritis, arthroscopy is used to remove degenerative or torn joint tissue and relieve joint catching or popping. In turn, pain is reduced.
Sometimes, a problem doesn't show up on X-ray or MRI. A scope can give a better view and find the problem.
Recovery from arthroscopy is often shorter than with more traditional surgery. That's because the less tissue that's disturbed, the faster the healing. When bone is disturbed, healing naturally takes more time.
"In general, we see less scar tissue, less pain and a quicker return to normal movement with arthroscopy than with other procedures," Borchard said.
If you have chronic pain in a joint that seems to get worse, it's time to do something about it. Consider a consult with Dr. Borchard or Tom Doty, PA at the Joint Center. Both are employed by TMH and are available on a full-time basis. If interested, call 970-826-2450 for an appointment.
This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.This weekly article with tips on living well is sponsored by The Memorial Hospital at Craig – improving the quality of life for the communities we serve through patient-centered healthcare and service excellence.