Our Surgeons at RGVO understand that knees are sensitive and require close attention when a problem exists. We also understand that you use your knee every time you take a step. From the simplest actions, like squatting for the morning paper or going for a run; you put wear and tear on your knee. As a result of constant use: pain and stiffness may arise. Complications may also develop due to chronic illness or a bad injury. If not treated properly, your knee may eventually require total replacement. Although it sounds intimidating, it does not have to be. There are many benefits that you can achieve from replacing your injured knee. Benefits such as increased leg strength, halting or greatly reducing joint pain, and most importantly; improvement in your quality of life.
Is Surgery Right for You? Surgery may be the best option if your doctor has recommended certain medications to reduce your knee pain. You may have even had minor surgery performed (arthroscopy) to help. If those efforts don’t suffice, total joint replacement may be the next step for you. To find out if this is the case, your surgeon will evaluate your knee with full exams and X-Rays.
Your Knee Surgery – Before the surgery, you’ll be asked to not to eat or drink anything after midnight. Once you arrive to the hospital, some simple lab tests will be performed. Once the surgical team is ready to begin the procedure, you will be taken into the operating room. To begin, you will be given anesthesia. The surgeon will then make an incision on the front or side of your knee. Any damage that is identified will be cleaned away, and the new joint is put into that place. The incision is then closed with staples or stiches.
Your Recovery – After surgery, you’ll be kept for recovery. You will be closely monitored and given pain medications. You will be fitted with a catheter and a drain in your knee. A specialized machine, CPM (continuous passive motion), may be used on your knee to keep it from stiffening up. After you wake from the anesthesia, you’ll be moved to your own room. For proper pain management, please answer as honestly as possible when questioned about pain levels. Soon after your surgery, specially trained therapists will begin to work with you.
It will be your responsibility to continue using the techniques they teach you for recovery. As you continue these exercises you will experience a quick and safe recovery.
Knee problems affect a large percentage of today’s society. Many of these problems begin after a twist, blow, and/or overuse; such as repeated squatting. These knee problems can be assessed as structural weakness or a natural part of aging. Whatever your case may be, many are often successfully diagnosed and treated with arthroscopy. At RGVO, our surgeons take pride in carefully tending to knee problems and helping our patients get back on their way. Our surgeons use arthroscopy as a technique to allow them to see clearly inside your knee, using small incisions.
Your Evaluation – Before any sort of surgery takes place, your surgeon will evaluate your knee to diagnose your problem. As part of the evaluation all areas of your medical history will be considered. X-Rays will help your surgeon diagnose any possible cracks or breaks within the bones, as well as helping to detect abnormal bone structures and arthritis.
Your Procedure – Lab tests may be required before admission, and you will be asked not to eat or drink anything after midnight the day before. At the beginning of the procedure, you will receive an anesthetic. It will make you sleep (general anesthesia), numb you from the waist down (spinal anesthesia), or just numb your knee (local anesthesia). Your surgeon will then make a few incisions in your knee. Sterile fluid is inserted through an incision to expand your knee. Your surgeon can then determine the type and extent of damage that has been done to your knee.
Your Recovery – After surgery, you will spend a brief time in recovery. During that time, ice packs (to reduce swelling) and pain medication will be administered. Since arthroscopy only requires small incisions, you can expect less scarring, pain, and most often a quick recovery. Once you’re cleared to return home, you will be advised to keep your activity level low to allow time for your knee to heal completely. Once you have completed physical therapy and rehabilitation, you’ll be cleared to resume your normal activities.
At RGVO, our doctors understand that your time is valuable. There is no time for any discomfort to interrupt busy days. Part of the repertoire of our surgeons is dealing with lower back and leg pain. This pain is often caused by spinal disc problems and can become very frustrating when they limit your ability to perform activities and do the things you enjoy. To manage lower back (lumbar) problems, your doctor may have recommended conservative treatment plans such as rest, medication, physical therapy, and exercise. Despite best efforts, sometimes the pain still won’t subside. Surgery may help alleviate the pain by treating your disc problem.
Your Evaluation – Your doctor will examine your spine and legs to identify the source of your pain and how your lifestyle may contribute to it. Various tests will be performed such as – tests for flexibility, muscle strength, and checking for pain or numbness in your legs or feet. Along with these physical tests, diagnostic tests such as X-Rays, Myelograms, CT, and EMGs may be performed to better understand your back issues.
Your Disc Surgery – Once your doctor has evaluated your back, the next step is in the operating room. Your disc problem may be corrected by diskectomy (the surgical removal of the portion of the disk that’s putting pressure on a nerve, which is causing the pain in your back or leg). Your surgeon may recommend 1 of the 3 following procedures – “Classic” Diskectomy, Micro Diskectmoy, or a Percutaneous Diskectomy. Don’t be intimidated or confused by the names of these procedures. The basic differences between them are the size of the incision in your back, how your surgeon reaches for your disc, and how much of the disc needs to be removed. The Classic and Micro Diskectomy require a hospital stay of a few days, as opposed to the Percutaneous diskectomy which is usually an out-patient procedure.
Your Recovery – Recovering from back pain and surgery is an ongoing process. How fast you recover depends on the type of surgery you had, your commitment to recovering as you work with your physical therapist, and following all the instructions recommended to you by your surgeon. The timetable given to those who are recovering is six months or longer before you can resume normal activities.
Your rotator cuff is an integral part of your shoulder and its function free of pain. Athletes depend on it even more than the average person. At RGVO, our surgeons know how important a healthy rotator cuff is in the use of your shoulder. To help better articulate its importance – the Rotator Cuff is a powerful team of muscles and connecting tendons. These muscles and tendons attach to your upper arm and shoulder. This is what allows you to reach, throw, push, pull and lift. Without it your arm would be nearly useless. Therefore, if any damage has been done to your rotator cuff it is crucial for you to get proper examination and possibly surgery.
Your Evaluation – Before your rotator cuff can be treated, your orthopedist needs to assess your injury, which will include taking a look at your medical history and daily activities. Once your orthopedist determines your kind of injury after close examination, then the kind of treatment plan will be put into motion for you. Some of the possible plans are – Rest, Medication, Electrical Stimulation, Injections, and Fitness. If your injury doesn’t improve with the other treatments, your doctor may then suggest surgery.
Your Surgery – Depending on the level of your injury, you may need to stay overnight at the hospital or surgery center. There are two kinds of surgeries which your surgeon can elect to perform. The surgical procedures your physician may choose form are – Arthroscopic Surgery or Open Surgery. The main difference between these procedures is the size of the incision made when the surgeon operates. Open Surgery may take longer to heal from due to the bigger incision. Regardless, thanks to advanced techniques, you can look forward to good results.
Your Recovery – In the hours after surgery, your doctor or nurse will monitor your shoulder and recovery. If you have pain lingering from the surgery, you may be given medication to help with that. If your surgery does require an overnight or extended stay, it should be no longer than a day or two. Your physical therapist may begin to work with you after your surgery, but much of your recovery will depend on you and your commitment to getting your full strength back. It will be key for you to consistently perform the exercises instructed, for you to achieve the desired rehabilitation.
At RGVO, we know that the term “Spinal Fusion” may be unsettling. In order to help alleviate any anxiety in the prospective patient, we carefully walk the patient through this process and help them better understand the benefits of it. Learning about your spine can help you better understand how spinal fusion surgery works. The spine is made up of hard bones with soft cushioning between them. This procedure makes your spine strong and flexible, when it hasn’t been. Spinal pain can be one of the most unbearable afflictions and limits your ability to enjoy life and activities you most love doing. Although other treatments, including surgery, may not have relieved your pain, Spinal Fusion may be able to. Spinal fusion is a procedure which permanently connects two or more bones in your spine.
Your Evaluation: Before any serious talks of surgery takes place, you may be asked to visit your primary physician to make sure you are in acceptable physical shape for surgery. Once you have been cleared for surgery, you will begin preparing for the procedure. The surgeon will investigate to find out the severity of your pain and to identify which surgery would be the most beneficial for you.
Your Surgery – At the beginning of the surgery, you’ll receive general anesthesia which means you will be unaware during the procedure. There are three different types of surgeries that can be performed to help you with your spinal issues. The options range from – Cervical Fusion or Lumbar Fusion (which can be performed in two ways, Anterior or Posterior). Your surgeon will know what is best for you based on your evaluation and will discuss the findings with you.
Your Recovery – After your surgery, you will go to a unit called PACU (post anesthesia care unit). You will stay here until you are fully conscious, which usually only takes a few hours; after which you will be taken to your own room. If you had cervical fusion performed, you may go home the next day. If you had lumbar fusion performed, you may stay up to 7 days. Once you are cleared to return home, you will be advised to use several “Pro Tips” to better manage your pain and help your spine recover day by day.
Living with a worn or injured hip joint can be extremely painful and frustrating. Over time, you may find yourself doing less and missing out on key moments in life. Our surgeons, here at RGVO, believe in helping our patients with the best techniques and care. We understand the value our hips have in our lives and how much we use them. To learn more about your hip problem, much research and evaluation will take place. The more our surgeons know, the better they can help, so answer all the questions regarding your pain honestly. If simple things such as walking through a grocery store or getting up from chair may cause you pain, it is important you explain this to your surgeon. In many cases, an orthopedic surgeon can replace your afflicted hip joint.
Is Surgery Right for You? – Your doctor may have tried to reduce your hip pain with medications and physical therapy. You may have even learned to walk with a cane. But if none of that has helped, total joint replacement may be right for you. To find out if that is the case, your surgeon will perform a series of tests to evaluate your hip joint such as – Physical Exams and X-Rays.
Your Surgery – Pre-op tests may be administered before to make sure things are on track. It is crucial, during this time, to follow all of your surgeons’ instructions in preparing for your surgery. You will be asked not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before. When the team is ready, you’ll be taken into the operating room to begin. Anesthesia will be given to help you sleep through the process. Your surgeon will then begin by making an incision down the side of your hip. The damaged part is removed, and the socket is prepared to hold the prosthesis. Once the new joint is in place, the incision will then be closed with staples or stiches.
Your Recovery – After your surgery you will be taken, to the recovery room. There you will be administered pain medication to ease any possible lingering pain for your surgery. To keep your new joint stable, a foam wedge or pillows may be placed between your legs. To ensure you are recovering steadily, you must answer honestly when questioned about how you feel. During your recovery stay, you will be taught how to protect your new hip while doing daily activities such as walking, sitting, and dressing.
Do you suffer from chronic nagging pain, arm pain, or weakness caused by a disc problem in your upper spine? Is the simple task of turning your head nearly impossible due to unbearable pain? Here, at RGVO, our surgeons want to see you live the life you deserve free of disc pain and enjoying the things you love to do. Your neck needs to be strong to support your head, which can weight up to 10 pounds. Things such as injury, poor posture, wear and tear, and diseases such as arthritis can damage the structure of your spine. If conservative treatments have not helped you, your surgeon may recommend the next step: Cervical Disc Surgery.
Your Evaluation – Before your doctor can recommend you any sort of treatment, your spine problem must be carefully diagnosed. The more precise your diagnosis is, the more successful your treatment will be. Your medical history will be closely examined to locate any potential spots and to see when and where your problems arose. Several tests such as Physical and Diagnostic tests (X-Rays, CT, Myelograms, and EMG’s) will be performed, to help your surgeon asses the severity.
Your Surgery – Choosing surgery is a decision that will ultimately be yours to make. Based on the evaluations from your surgeon and doctor, you may decide to take the conservative care approach. This is a mixture of rest, medications, physical therapy, and exercises to alleviate the discomfort. If your symptoms don’t subside, cervical disc surgery may be suggested as an option. If surgery is the route you choose, you can expect not to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before. When you arrive, you’ll be taken into the operating room and anesthesia will be administered. During the surgery, your doctor may remove all or part of the disc and bone spurs pressing on your nerves or spinal cord.
Your Recovery – Once your surgery has been performed, you will be taken to recovery until your anesthesia wears off. To reduce the discomfort post-surgery, pain medication will be administered. When you wake up, you will have on a neck brace and a drainage tube. The drain will be removed a couple of days after surgery. To protect your cervical spine as it heals, you will need to wear thee brace until instructed by your doctor to remove it. By following your doctor’s instructions about performing very mild activities, as well as wearing your brace, you will be on the road to steady recovery.