What is arthroscopic surgery?
Traditional open surgery, while effective, is costly in terms of collateral damage and downtime. In traditional surgery, large incisions are made to expose the injured area, allowing doctors clear vision and room to operate. Thanks to advances in technology, Dr. Weinheimer is now able to use remote imaging and precision equipment to accomplish many of the same repairs, without causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue.
Minimally invasive surgery, which is also known as arthroscopy, requires smaller incisions — they only need to be large enough to accommodate the small instruments. As a result, you don’t run the same risks of infection as you do in open surgery, and the downtime is considerably reduced because the surgical area heals more quickly.
Dr. Weinheimer has specific training in arthroscopy of the
When is arthroscopic surgery recommended?
Not every repair lends itself to arthroscopic surgery. For example, very large or multiple tears to your tendons may require open surgery, while smaller tendon tears make ideal candidates for arthroscopic procedures. To determine which surgery is right for your case, Dr. Weinheimer evaluates the injury thoroughly using imaging scans and a review of your medical history. From there, Dr. Weinheimer makes a determination based on achieving the most successful outcome while also meeting your goals.
Whether you have a torn rotator cuff or a severe case of tennis elbow, Dr. Weinheimer generally prefers to go the minimally invasive route when possible, but some cases may require more aggressive open surgery to achieve the best results.
What are the risks?
Even though arthroscopic surgeries carry fewer risks than open procedures, complications are still possible. Risks may include:
- Allergic reaction to anesthesia
- Excessive bleeding
- Postoperative pain
- Infection at the surgical site
In some cases, surgery may not be successful, and you may continue experiencing symptoms even after your recovery period. Additionally, Dr. Weinheimer may be unable to repair the injury with minimally invasive surgery, so he may have to switch to open surgery during the procedure. However, as an experienced hand and upper extremity surgeon, Dr. Weinheimer knows how to perform these procedures as safely and effectively as possible.
How fast do patients recover from arthroscopic surgery?
The recovery from minimally invasive surgery is usually quicker than with open surgery, but you still have some downtime after the procedure. Most patients will go home the day of surgery. Most patients can resume their normal activities within six to twelve weeks. Before scheduling your surgery, Dr. Weinheimer explains your expected recovery time, as well as the instructions you must follow while you heal. Following all these instructions carefully ensures that you recover from the procedure as quickly as possible.