Common Surgical Procedures

What are your options – or the options your doctor recommends? The most common are:

Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic Surgery is minimally invasive surgery used for knees, hips and shoulders.

The process:

  • A fiber-optic instrument is used to study the inside of your joint
  • An incision about the size of a buttonhole is made
  • A sterile sodium chloride solution is injected to dilate the joint 
  • The arthroscope (about the size of a pencil) is inserted into the joint
  • The lens and lighting system of the arthroscope enable the surgeon to see the structures of your joint clearly as transmitted to a miniature TV camera attached to the end of the arthroscope  
  • Using irrigation and suction, blood and debris are removed prior to examining the joint
  • Viewing the joint on the TV screen, the surgeon then determines the amount or type of injury and what he needs to do in order to relieve your problem
  • Floating bits of cartilage are removed
  • Minor tears and any other disorders are dealt with
  • The arthroscope is removed, the arthroscope is removed, the joint irrigated and the buttonhole-size incision is stitched up

Often arthroscopy is performed on an outpatient basis, so you don’t have to stay in the hospital.  You can recuperate at home.

Arthroplasty (Total Joint Replacement)

Arthroplasty or Total Joint Replacement is extreme surgery used to correct degenerative knee, hip and shoulder arthritis or joint injury. 

The prosthesis (artificial joint used to replace your defective natural one) is custom fit to your individual bone structure. Most patients go home in one day and are back to an active lifestyle in just a few weeks.

Osteotomy

Osteotomy is used to remove a wedge of bone near a damaged joint of either the bottom of the femur (upper leg bone) or the top of the tibia.  Some osteotomies can be performed using minimally invasive surgery.

Revision Joint Replacement

Revision Joint Replacement is minimally invasive surgery that must be performed when you put too much stress on a prosthesis or artificial joint that is already in place, causing it to loosen or break.

Synovectomy

Synovectomy (removing part or all of the joint lining) may be effective if inflammatory arthritis (or any other joint disease) is limited to the joint lining and has not affected the cartilage. 

One form is radiation synovectomy: the injection of radioactive isotope P32 into the affected joint.

Partial Knee Replacement

Partial Knee Replacement is a minimally invasive procedure in which only one side of the knee joint is replaced.

Learn more about knee replacement surgery in our health library.