For most hip and knee problems, outpatient surgery is done through a surgery called arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is simply looking at the joint from within using a minimally invasive technique.
What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy uses 2 or 3 small incisions (about 1cm) through which Dr. Miller places a camera into the joint to examine the area. The camera image is then broadcast on a screen for him to see and through his expertise; he corrects any problems that may be present. Pictures are typically printed that the patient can take home to show family and friends. Dr. Miller does ask that patients who undergo arthroscopy bring these pictures to the office with them on their first postoperative visit, so that he may go over them with the patient. Because the surgery is minimally invasive, patients typically go home the same day.
When is Arthroscopy Used?
Arthroscopy is typically used for hip problems such as impingement and/or a torn labrum. In the knee, arthroscopic surgery is useful for treating a variety of problems including meniscus tears, patella maltracking, and osteochondral lesions. Arthroscopy is commonly frowned on in the treatment of osteoarthritis, as the risks of surgery may outweigh the benefits.
What About Recovery from Arthroscopy?
Because the incisions are so small, most patients recover very quickly from arthroscopic surgery and can put full weight on their leg as soon as they feel comfortable doing so. Dr. Miller recommends being out of work for about 10-14 days, but returning sooner is an option providing you are recovering well. Most of the time, physical therapy can be done by the patient at home.
If you have a hip or knee problem and feel like arthroscopy might help you , please contact Dr. Miller to set up a full evaluation.