Nothing can bring life to a halt quite like joint pain. Whether it’s in your knees, your shoulders, or anywhere else where you rely on your joints for movement, support, and range of motion, joint pain can have a widespread impact on your active life.
At Crescent City Orthopedics, our orthopedic surgeons devote themselves to helping patients in Metairie, Louisiana, and the greater New Orleans area, regain freedom of movement, allowing them to walk, run, and even swing their way through life. If you have joint pain, arthroscopy may be your best ally, both as a diagnostic tool and a treatment.
Here’s a look at why you may be a candidate for arthroscopic joint surgery in order to relieve your joint pain.
Joints are meant to move, and they do a lot of it. Some have the added burden of carrying your weight, providing balance, and giving you a wide range of motion. When joint pain strikes, the effects can be devastating, sidelining you from your favorite activities as you cope with the pain and stiffness.
There are any number of reasons why your joints may be in pain, with degenerative diseases and wear-and-tear leading the charge. Osteoarthritis alone affects 31 million people in the United States, and this number is expected to rise to as our population ages. And years of active use can take their toll, breaking down the bone and cartilage inside your joints, which can greatly interfere with the normally smooth function of your joint.
Another common reason for joint pain is injury. Whether you’ve suffered a ligament tear or your tendons are inflamed, the connective tissues inside your joints play no small role in your movement, and when something goes wrong, you’re left with pain.
There are many other reasons why you may be experiencing joint pain, which is what makes arthroscopy so valuable. It’s not only your way out of joint pain, it’s critical for identifying the source of your pain.
The word arthroscopy comes from the Greek words “arthro,” which means joint, and “skopein,” which means look. Together, they perfectly describe what we’re able to accomplish with arthroscopy — look inside your joint.
The key to this technique is a tiny instrument upon which we mount a camera (an arthroscope), which provides us with digital, 3D imaging of the inner workings inside your joint. Using only a tiny incision, we can thread this small instrument through and investigate your joint without having to open up the area for a firsthand look.
While advanced imaging works well to give us an idea about what’s causing the pain in your joint, these tools are limited, and sometimes joint problems hide behind other structures. With arthroscopy, we guide the camera into your joint, which gives us a much clearer picture of the potential problem.
As such, arthroscopy is an incredibly important diagnostic tool. And so much more.
Once we access your joint with our arthroscope and identify (or confirm) the problem, we can often remedy the issue at the same time. Using additional small incisions, we thread specialized equipment through that translates the movements of our hands in small areas. This allows us to:
Arthroscopy is especially useful when we tackle joint pain in your knees, shoulders, wrists, hips, ankles, and elbows. From rotator cuff tears in your shoulder to meniscus injuries in your knee, the technique allows us to diagnose and treat your problem in one minimally invasive procedure.
The main benefit of arthroscopy is that there’s no need to open the area surrounding your joint. You’re already in pain, and the last thing we want to do is add to your misery with open surgery. With arthroscopy, we make only tiny incisions and preserve your tissue, leaving you with less blood loss or risk of infection, as well as a swift recovery.
If you’d like to explore whether arthroscopy can remedy your joint pain, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.