Arthroscopic Surgery Good Choice for Joint Injuries
Joint injuries can be the result of a sudden accident or injury or can occur because of normal wear and tear. The results can be pain, swelling and loss of mobility.
Some patients can be treated with medication or physical therapy, but for others, arthroscopic surgery is the best option. Arthroscopic surgery uses small incisions to repair joints and the surrounding tissue.
"Our surgeries have become less invasive," says orthopedic surgeon, P. Jeffrey Richards, M.D. "We are able to make stronger repairs through better techniques and better implants."
Dr. Richards specializes in upper body procedures and repairs wrist, elbow, muscle and shoulder injuries. His repairs impact all types of people, from the casual golfer to the career construction worker. "We don't usually start off with surgery," Dr. Richards explains. "We often start with therapy and maybe steroid injections to help often decrease the pain and inflammation."
If the first-line treatments are unsuccessful, Dr. Richards takes a more detailed look, through an ultrasound or MRI.
"The ultrasound allows me to evaluate the tissues and guide my injection," he says. "This helps provide relief exactly where the patient needs it."
Patients don't plan for muscle pulls or tears, but Dr. Richards says there are ways to minimize the odds of ending up in his office.
"In general, try keeping your muscles and joints in the best condition possible," he says. "Do a proper warm-up and cool-down before work or exercise, and if you do develop a problem, seek help sooner rather than later."
Getting medical attention for a muscle or joint injury in the early stages can mean the difference in surgery or a less-invasive treatment.
"Arthroscopic surgery provides a faster, more reliable rehabilitation than previous methods, but preventing injury is always the best scenario," Dr. Richards says.
Arthroscopic Hip: Boosting Mobility without a Replacement
P. Jeffrey Richards, M.D.
Orthopedic Specialists of Southwest Florida
2531 Cleveland Avenue
Fort Myers, FL 33901