The Most Common Orthopedic Surgeries
Chronic pain and limited mobility are common with orthopedic injuries and conditions, like fractures and arthritis. Both adults and children can suffer from musculoskeletal and joint symptoms, but relief is available. SI Ortho’s adult and pediatric orthopedic surgery specialists provide a wide range of surgical solutions.
Conservative, non-surgical treatments are often the first line of attack, but when these fail, our skilled experts are ready to offer a variety of orthopedic surgical options.
Hip replacement is not just one of the most common procedures performed at SI Ortho — it’s also one of the more commonly performed surgeries across the country. Surgeons throughout the U.S. perform more than 450,000 hip replacements each year. It is one of the most successful of all surgeries.
The most common reason for a hip replacement is osteoarthritis, which often occurs in older adults. As you get older, tissue in the joint deteriorates and makes walking and moving more difficult and painful. A hip replacement can relieve pain and restore you to normal activities.
Minimally Invasive Hip Replacement
When possible, surgeons perform this procedure with a minimally invasive technique. Using small incisions and surgical tools, they can replace the hip with less damage to healthy tissue, which leads to quicker recovery times for patients.
Anterior Approach Total Hip Replacement
How surgeons approach the joint matters. To minimize damage to muscles, they often take an anterior approach, making incisions at the front of the hip. The surgeon can part the muscles and avoid cutting more healthy tissue as they replace the damaged joint. The anterior approach is increasingly used. Studies show it leads to less pain and quicker recovery times when compared to a traditional lateral or posterior approach.
Revision of Hip Replacement
The quality and durability of artificial joints has improved over the years, but they are still not designed to last forever. Over time, or in the event of complications, some people need an additional procedure called a revision. This is more common in older adults who have had implants for many years.
During a revision, the surgeon replaces some or all of the artificial joint, repositions the joint, and removes or stabilizes any additional damaged tissue. The extent of the work done depends on the individual and what they need. Surgeons often recommend revisions when an implant fails due to loosening, dislocation, wear-and-tear damage, a fracture, or an infection.
Knee procedures are also very common and used in a wider variety of patients. Arthritis and injuries — particularly sports injuries — are the primary reasons people need knee surgery. Active children, especially those engaged in sports, are also susceptible to knee injuries that require pediatric orthopedic surgery.
Total Knee Replacement
As with the hip, total knee replacement is a very common procedure. Osteoarthritis is also the leading reason for knee replacements, used when pain and mobility issues become debilitating. If possible, surgeons will use a minimally-invasive procedure to install an artificial joint.
Meniscal Tear Surgery
A tear in the meniscus—a rubbery disk that cushions the joint—is a common sports injury but can also occur with a degenerative condition like arthritis. To fix a tear, surgeons typically use an arthroscopic procedure. If possible, they will perform a partial meniscectomy, trimming away as little of the cushioning tissue as possible.
Arthroscopic ACL Reconstruction Surgery
Another typical sports injury is a stretched or torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), connective tissue that runs across the front of the joint. Severe injuries, including total tears, require reconstruction. Surgeons can use arthroscopy to make small incisions and graft donor tissue to the torn ligament.
Orthopedic Spine Surgery
Back and neck pain can be a minor frustration or completely debilitating. When spinal issues affect the nerves it can lead to pain, tingling, and weakness that extends to the arms and legs, often necessitating surgery.
Anterior Cervical Decompression and Spine Fusion
This is a procedure approached through the front of the neck. Part of the surgery involves removing any tissue putting pressure on a nerve and causing symptoms. This is called decompression. The surgeon then fuses parts of the spine to restrict movement. This is done when movement causes pain after an injury or as the result of a disease or degenerative condition.
Lumbar Spine Decompression
Lower back pain is one of the most common sources of disability in adults. Surgeons perform a lumbar spine decompression to relieve pressure on nerves in the lower spine that has caused pain, tingling, and other symptoms. It’s used to treat spinal stenosis, slipped discs, and spinal injuries. The surgeon can also fuse parts of the lumbar spine together to improve stability and reduce pain with movement.
Both active adults and children are susceptible to elbow injuries. They often involve tendons and bones and can resolve with rest and non-surgical treatments. More serious injuries and those that do not respond to conservative care might need surgery.
Elbow Fracture Care and Surgery
A fracture of the elbow occurs in the olecranon, the part of the ulna that makes up the bony point of the elbow. Causes of a fracture here are typically falls or a strike to the bone, such as a baseball during a game.
For a simple break, a splint may be enough to give it time to heal. Surgery is usually necessary if the bones have shifted out of place or broken the skin. The surgeon rearranges the bones and fixes them in place with pins, plates, screws, or a bone graft.
Tennis Elbow Surgery
Also called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is inflammation in the tendons on the outside of the joint. While named for repetitive motion injuries incurred while playing tennis, other sports and activities can cause it. Children who play sports are also susceptible to this injury.
If bracing and rest do not heal tennis elbow, a surgeon can remove any damaged tissue and reattach healthy connective tissue.
Shoulder injuries are common in people who engage in repetitive motion, often during sports but also due to lifting motions in certain jobs. If non-surgical care does not relieve pain and restore mobility, surgery may be necessary.
Rotator Cuff Surgery
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that cover the top of the upper arm bone, called the humerus. Partial or complete tears in the rotator cuff occur with degenerative conditions, such as repetitive use injuries. They can also occur as acute injuries, from accidents or lifting something heavy with a jerking movement.
If surgery becomes necessary, the procedure involves repairing the damaged tendon, or in the case of a complete tear, re-attaching it to the bone. If possible, surgeons will perform an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, using small incisions and tools for faster recovery.
Shoulder impingement occurs when raising your arm too high decreases the space between the rotator cuff and the acromion, the shoulder bone. This causes friction and pain as the acromion rubs against the bursa, a cushioning pad. Repetitive motions in sports commonly cause this, including lifting weights. Young people who swim frequently can also get it.
Surgery to correct impingement and bursitis involves making more space to allow freer movement. This might include removing part of the bursa. The surgeon might also perform an arthroscopic subacromial decompression, a minimally invasive procedure to remove part of the acromion.
The labrum is a thick connective tissue that helps hold the ball part of the shoulder joint in the socket. Labrum injuries are typically acute and related to physical trauma. Surgeons can repair tears in the labrum to restore function and reduce pain, often with an arthroscopic procedure.
Foot and Ankle Surgeries
Foot and ankle fractures often require surgery to repair. A broken ankle is a common pediatric injury, often occurring during twisting and jumping motions during play or sports. Adults can also fracture the ankle or foot bones. Common causes of ankle fractures include rolling the ankle, falling, or being involved in an accident.
If the bones don’t shift out of place, non-surgical care involves stabilizing the foot or ankle with a boot and keeping weight off that side. More complex fractures require surgeries using screws or plates to keep bones aligned as they heal.
Hand and Wrist Surgeries
Various conditions require hand and wrist surgery, including arthritis, repetitive motion injuries, acute injuries, and inflammation. For many issues in the delicate bones of the wrist, surgeons can use wrist arthroscopy. This is a minimally-invasive procedure that uses small incisions and tools and results in quicker recovery with less pain.
Carpal Tunnel Release and Nerve Decompression
A common reason to use wrist arthroscopy is to relieve pressure on nerves that causes pain, tingling, and weakness in the hand and forearm. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the tunnel carrying the median nerve through the wrist narrows and puts pressure on it. During carpal tunnel release, the surgeon cuts, or releases, the ligament that impedes the nerve.
Less common is ulnar tunnel syndrome. Surgeons can also use nerve decompression to relieve pressure on the ulnar nerve in the wrist, restoring function to the little and ring fingers.
Hand and Wrist Fracture Surgery
Fractures in the hand and wrist most often occur due to traumatic injuries. The most common type of fracture is in the fifth metacarpal. Known as a boxer’s fracture, it often results from striking a hard object with a closed fist.
As with foot and ankle fractures, if the break is complex and bones have shifted out of place, orthopedic hand surgery may be required. Surgeons use screws and plates to hold bones in position as they heal.
Meet the SI Ortho Surgery Team
SI Ortho is home to an excellent, experienced team of orthopedic surgeons with various areas of specialty:
- Dr. Eric Freeman – Shoulder, Knees, and Hips
- Dr. David Godfried – Pediatric Orthopedics
- Dr. Franklin Lee – Spine
- – Hand and Wrist
- Dr. John Leppard III – Hand
- Dr. Jonathan Mallen – Hip and Joints
- Dr. Nicholas DeBellis – Sports Injuries and Trauma Care
- Dr. Paul Kubiak – General Orthopedics
- Dr. Garrett Moss – General Orthopedics
- Dr. Ashley Simela – Spine & Extremities