Within the last few decades, minimally invasive surgery has become increasingly common across all medical specialties and the orthopaedic field is no exception. New research and technologies have led to improved methods of joint replacement, arthroscopic repairs of sports injuries, and microscopic treatment of complex musculoskeletal conditions, among other things.
What is Minimally Invasive Surgery?
Traditional surgery often requires a large incision and significant trauma to soft tissue surrounding an injury, whereas, minimally invasive surgery attempts to minimize both the size of surgical incisions as well as the trauma to surrounding soft tissues while accomplishing the same surgical goal. In orthopaedics, this can mean the difference between exposing the entire joint through a large, open incision and using small, targeted incisions to address only the problem area. This results in less risk during surgery, less post-operative pain, and shorter recovery times.
What are Some of the Latest Minimally Invasive Orthopaedic Surgery Options?
Just as there are many types of orthopaedic injuries, there are also a wide variety of procedures available including:
- Knee Arthroscopy– This minimally invasive surgery involves making two or more small incisions in the knee, then using an arthroscope to visualize the interior of the joint. Small surgical tools are inserted through other small incisions, and then the entire operation is broadcasted on a television screen. This procedure is often used for ACL tear reconstruction and/or meniscal tear repair.
- Hip Arthroscopy– In this procedure, an arthroscope is inserted into the hip joint through a small incision while surgical tools are inserted through other incisions. The surgeon views the joint through the arthroscope camera and is then able to manipulate the surgical tools. Hip arthroscopy is often used to relieve symptoms caused by problems impacting the cartilage or soft tissues surrounding the joint.
- Shoulder Arthroscopy– A common surgery, this procedure also uses an arthroscope and specialized tools to visualize the joint and perform repairs. It is often performed to repair the rotator cuff, remove bone spurs, repair shoulder stability, and/or repair soft tissues surrounding the joint.
- Total Joint Replacement– Many different types of joint replacement, including hip, knee, and shoulder, can now be performed through minimally invasive surgery. In a total joint replacement, the damaged surfaces of the joint are removed and replaced with artificial joint components. Minimally invasive joint replacement uses small incisions to remove and replace these joint components while disturbing the surrounding tissues as little as possible.
While some orthopaedic practices are known solely for their patient care and great patient outcomes, others are known for their innovation and research as well. Dr. Larson has been at the forefront of his profession. He is a leader in meniscus allograft and was the first surgeon in Utah to use Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation, where the patient’s own cartilage is grown in a lab that implanted back into their knee. Dr. Larson continues to research and work as a consultant to develop new technology to improve procedures and to aid in patient recovery, including minimally invasive surgery techniques.
If you are considering surgery for an orthopaedic condition, give us a call at 435-774-8512 to schedule an appointment with Dr. Larson.