With a history dating back over 100 years, the arthroscope has long been a way for surgeons to see inside joints. Diagnostic imaging, like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), doesn’t always provide the entire picture. Sometimes, there’s no substitute for inspecting a joint visually and first-hand.
Open surgery often means damaging healthy tissue to gain access to a joint, leading to a long and painful recovery. The arthroscope uses small incisions, creating a less negative impact on healthy tissue. Scott Ellsworth, MD, brings the latest in arthroscopic techniques to shoulder treatments. Whenever possible, Dr. Ellsworth turns to minimally invasive procedures to assure the best surgical outcomes with the least pain and fastest recovery times.
After reading about these five benefits of arthroscopic surgery, you’ll want to call our office to learn more. When you’re ready to move forward, contact us at the most convenient of Dr. Ellsworth’s offices in Leawood and Merriam, Kansas, to schedule your initial consultation.
Arthroscopy takes its name from the Greek words “artho” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). A tube using fiber optics to provide light and a video, the arthroscope requires an incision about the same size as a buttonhole on a shirt. The cut is so small it doesn’t damage the surrounding tissue.
As well as its value as a diagnostic tool, special tools allow Dr. Ellsworth to perform repairs on a variety of shoulder injuries. Sometimes, diagnosis and repair can take place during a single surgery rather than simply diagnosing a problem and scheduling another procedure to complete the repair. Specialized tools may use the same incision as the arthroscope, or you may need additional buttonhole incisions.
When you have shoulder pain that doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, like medications, physical therapy, and rest, or when diagnostic imaging reveals inconclusive results, arthroscopic surgery is usually the next step. Some common shoulder issues well-suited to arthroscopy include:
Shoulder arthroscopy is second only to the knee in the number of surgeries performed every year.
The alternative to an arthroscopic approach is open surgery, requiring a long incision that also cuts through healthy muscle tissue. Whenever possible, Dr. Ellsworth chooses arthroscopy because of these five benefits:
Generally, you can also expect that your shoulder has less stiffness after arthroscopic surgery compared to open surgery techniques.
Find out if arthroscopic surgery is the right choice for you by consulting with Dr. Ellsworth. Call 913-319-7600 or use the appointment request link on this page. Book your visit today.