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Do Orthopedic Surgery Centers Only Perform Surgery?

Orthopedic surgery centers are often perceived as facilities solely dedicated to surgical interventions for musculoskeletal issues. However, this misconception overlooks the comprehensive range of services these centers offer.

While surgical interventions are indeed a crucial aspect of their services, these centers offer much more than just operations. From diagnostics to rehabilitation, orthopedic surgery centers adopt a multidisciplinary approach to address various musculoskeletal conditions.

What services do orthopedic surgery centers offer beyond surgery?

Orthopedic surgery centers are often associated primarily with surgical interventions. However, these centers offer a comprehensive range of services to address musculoskeletal issues through various modalities.

Diagnostic services

Orthopedic surgery centers serve as hubs for diagnosing various musculoskeletal issues. Through advanced imaging techniques such as X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans, specialists can accurately assess the underlying causes of patients' symptoms. 

Additionally, diagnostic tests like bone density scans help identify conditions such as osteoporosis. By utilizing state-of-the-art technology, orthopedic centers ensure precise and timely diagnoses, laying the foundation for effective treatment plans.

Comprehensive treatment modalities

Contrary to popular belief, surgery is not always the first line of treatment for musculoskeletal conditions. Orthopedic surgery centers offer a variety of non-surgical treatment options tailored to address patients' specific needs and preferences. These may include:

  1. Medication management

Orthopedic specialists may prescribe anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, or disease-modifying drugs to manage symptoms and slow disease progression.

  1. Physical therapy

Physical therapy plays a pivotal role in rehabilitation and recovery. Orthopedic surgery centers employ skilled physical therapists who develop personalized exercise regimens and manual techniques to improve strength, flexibility, and mobility.

  1. Injections

Injections like corticosteroids or hyaluronic acid can provide targeted relief for conditions like osteoarthritis or tendonitis, reducing inflammation and alleviating pain.

By offering these conservative treatment modalities, orthopedic surgery centers aim to optimize patient outcomes while minimizing the need for surgical intervention whenever possible.

Rehabilitation and physical therapy

Recovery doesn't end with surgery; it's an ongoing process that often requires rehabilitation and physical therapy. Orthopedic surgery centers recognize the importance of post-operative care and offer comprehensive rehabilitation programs to facilitate patients' recovery. 

Experienced physical therapists guide patients through targeted exercises and techniques to restore strength, flexibility, and range of motion. 

Whether recovering from joint replacement surgery or a sports injury, rehabilitation services play a crucial role in helping patients regain function and return to their daily activities.

Collaboration for comprehensive care

Orthopedic surgery centers operate on a multidisciplinary model, fostering collaboration among various healthcare professionals to deliver holistic care. 

Orthopedic surgeons collaborate with primary care physicians, physical therapists, pain management specialists, and others to develop integrated treatment plans that address all aspects of patients' orthopedic health. 

This collaborative approach ensures that patients receive comprehensive care that considers not only their musculoskeletal issues but also any underlying medical conditions, lifestyle factors, or psychosocial needs that may impact their well-being.

How to choose the best orthopedic surgery center?

Choosing the best orthopedic surgery center is crucial for receiving optimal care and achieving the best possible outcomes. Here are some key factors to consider when selecting an orthopedic surgery center:

  1. Reputation and expertise

Research the reputation and expertise of the orthopedic surgery center and its staff. Look for centers with board-certified orthopedic surgeons with extensive experience and specialized expertise in treating your specific condition or procedure. Read patient reviews and testimonials to gauge the quality of care and patient satisfaction.

  1. Specialized services

Look for centers that provide comprehensive care, including diagnostics, non-surgical treatment options, surgical interventions, and rehabilitation services. Choose a center that offers the specific treatments and procedures you need for your condition.

  1. Advanced technology and facilities

Assess the technology and facilities available at the orthopedic surgery center. Look for centers equipped with state-of-the-art imaging technologies, surgical equipment, and rehabilitation facilities. 

Advanced technology can enhance the accuracy of diagnoses, improve surgical outcomes, and facilitate optimal recovery.

  1. Multidisciplinary team

Evaluate the composition of the orthopedic surgery center's multidisciplinary team. An interdisciplinary approach ensures comprehensive care and personalized treatment plans tailored to your individual needs.

  1. Accreditation and certifications

Check if the orthopedic surgery center is accredited by reputable organizations such as The Joint Commission or has received certifications from professional associations. 

Accreditation and certifications indicate that the center meets high quality and safety standards in patient care and healthcare delivery.

  1. Location and accessibility

Consider the location and accessibility of the orthopedic surgery center. Choose a center that is conveniently located and easily accessible from your home or workplace. 

Accessibility factors such as parking facilities, public transportation options, and proximity to major highways can impact your overall experience and convenience.

  1. Insurance coverage and financial considerations

Review your insurance coverage and financial considerations when selecting an orthopedic surgery center. Check if the center accepts your insurance plan and inquire about any out-of-pocket expenses or payment options. 

Understand the costs associated with your treatment plan, including consultations, procedures, and rehabilitation services.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic surgery center?

Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek stands at the forefront of orthopedic excellence in the state. With a reputation built on trust, integrity, and exceptional outcomes, we are proud to be recognized as leaders in orthopedic surgery and patient care. 

Rest assured that you are in safe hands at Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek. Our team of experienced medical professionals is dedicated to delivering the highest standard of care and ensuring your safety and comfort every step of the way.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Joint surgery is a transformative step towards reclaiming mobility and improving the quality of life. Often, the focus is primarily on exercise, but the equal importance of rest in the recovery process must be balanced. 

In this comprehensive guide, we delve into the crucial role that rest plays in post-joint surgery rehabilitation, highlighting why it's just as important as exercise.

How does joint surgery impact the body?

Joint surgery can significantly impact the body, and the extent of this impact depends on the type of surgery, the specific joint involved, and the individual's overall health.

After joint surgery, the body undergoes significant trauma, which the patient can experience through the following post-surgical symptoms:

  • Pain and discomfort
  • Inflammation or swelling
  • Limited range of motion
  • Muscle weakness
  • Temporarily impaired functionality
  • Emotional stress

Fortunately, all of these are normal and only temporary. The patient’s condition will improve gradually with the right blend of rest, rehabilitation, and long-term lifestyle adjustments. 

Why is rest important after joint surgery?

While exercise is essential for rebuilding strength and flexibility, the role of rest in this process is frequently underestimated. 

Rest plays a fundamental role in the overall recovery process and is crucial after joint surgery for several reasons:

  1. Facilitates healing

Rest provides the necessary time for the body to focus on repairing and healing the tissues affected during surgery. This includes the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and other structures surrounding the joint.

Furthermore, rest helps control and reduce excessive inflammation, preventing complications such as increased pain, swelling, and delayed healing.

  1. Minimizes strain on the joint

Rest is essential to protect the surgically repaired joint from unnecessary strain and stress. Overexertion or excessive movement can hinder the healing process and potentially lead to complications or damage to the surgical site.

  1. Prevents complications

Adequate rest minimizes the risk of complications such as infections, wound dehiscence, or issues related to excessive strain on the joint. Following postoperative rest guidelines helps create an optimal environment for healing.

  1. Supports pain management

Rest is an integral part of pain management after joint surgery. Individuals can minimize pain and discomfort by avoiding unnecessary movement and strain, promoting a more comfortable recovery.

  1. Prevents muscle atrophy

Lack of movement, especially in weight-bearing joints, can lead to muscle atrophy. Rest is balanced with prescribed rehabilitation exercises to prevent muscle wasting while allowing for controlled and supervised strengthening.

  1. Facilitates early rehabilitation

Rest serves as the foundation for the initial phase of recovery, allowing the body to adapt to the changes brought about by surgery. 

As the recovery progresses, rest is gradually complemented by targeted rehabilitation exercises to enhance joint function.

Why is exercise essential after joint surgery?

While rest forms the foundation, exercise complements recovery by building strength and flexibility. Engaging in tailored exercises helps prevent muscle atrophy, enhances joint mobility, and promotes circulation. 

Additionally, active participation in rehabilitation exercises also fosters a positive mindset, which is crucial for navigating the challenges of recovery.

However, it's vital to strike a balance. Too much exercise can lead to overexertion, exacerbating pain and delaying healing. Therefore, a gradual and supervised exercise regimen, initiated under professional guidance, ensures a safe and effective recovery.

How to find the balance between rest and exercise post-joint surgery?

Achieving the optimal balance between rest and exercise is a delicate but essential task. Overexertion can impede healing, while inadequate activity may result in stiffness and reduced functionality. 

Transitioning from the initial rest phase to a more active routine should be gradual, with constant monitoring of the body's response. Here are some practical steps to help achieve the optimal equilibrium:

  1. Follow professional guidance

Engage in open and regular communication with your healthcare team, including the surgeon, physical therapist, and rehabilitation specialists. They will provide personalized guidance based on your specific surgery, health status, and progress.

  1. Know your limits

Understand the limitations imposed by the surgery. Different procedures have varying recovery timelines and restrictions. Be aware of weight-bearing limitations, range of motion restrictions, and any specific precautions related to your surgery.

  1. Gradual progression

Initiate exercise gradually and under professional supervision. Begin with simple, low-impact movements within the allowed range of motion. This gradual approach minimizes the risk of overexertion and promotes a safe recovery.

  1. Listen to your body.

Listen to your body's signals. If you experience pain, swelling, or discomfort during or after an exercise, it may be an indication to modify the activity or provide more time for rest. Consult with your healthcare team if you have concerns.

  1. Customized exercise plan

Work with your physical therapist and orthopedic specialist to develop a customized exercise plan that aligns with your specific needs and goals. The plan should evolve as you progress in your recovery, ensuring a balance between challenging exercises and sufficient rest.

  1. Prioritize sleep and nutrition.

Ensure adequate sleep and proper nutrition. Quality rest and a well-balanced diet contribute significantly to the recovery process. These factors play a role in supporting the body's ability to heal and respond positively to exercise.

  1. Regular follow-ups

Schedule regular follow-ups with your healthcare team to assess your progress. Adjustments to your exercise plan or rest periods may be necessary based on your recovery trajectory.

Expert advice and a personalized recovery plan play a pivotal role in finding this sweet spot. Physical therapists and healthcare professionals guide individuals through the process, adjusting the intensity and type of exercises based on the individual's progress.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic clinic?

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, we redefine post-surgery recovery, setting the gold standard in orthopedic care that extends far beyond the operating room.

Our team comprises skilled orthopedic surgeons renowned for their expertise. Coupled with our commitment to personalized care, we ensure each patient receives the attention and precision they deserve.

UNC Orthopedics in Panther Creek is committed to excellence, personalized attention, and comprehensive post-surgery rehabilitation, making us the top choice for individuals seeking unparalleled orthopedic care.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that has gained prominence for its effectiveness in diagnosing and treating various ankle conditions. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll delve into the intricacies of ankle arthroscopy, covering everything from the procedure itself to recovery, rehabilitation, and the benefits of this evolving field.

What is ankle arthroscopy?

Ankle arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the ankle joint. 

This surgical technique involves using an arthroscope一a thin, flexible tube with a light and a camera on the end. The arthroscope is inserted through small incisions around the ankle, allowing the surgeon to visualize the interior of the joint on a monitor in real time.

During ankle arthroscopy, the surgeon can examine the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and other structures within the ankle joint. This diagnostic capability makes ankle arthroscopy particularly useful in identifying the cause of unexplained ankle pain, swelling, or limited range of motion.

Who are the ideal candidates for ankle arthroscopy?

The ideal candidates for ankle arthroscopy are individuals who experience persistent ankle pain, swelling, or limited range of motion and whose symptoms have not responded to conservative, non-surgical treatments.

An orthopedic surgeon may also recommend ankle arthroscopy for patients experiencing the following:

Ankle arthroscopy is a versatile surgical procedure performed to diagnose and treat various conditions affecting the ankle joint.

Patients considering ankle arthroscopy should engage in thorough discussions with their orthopedic surgeon or healthcare professional to assess their specific situation, understand the potential benefits and risks, and explore alternative treatment options.

How is ankle arthroscopy performed?

Before the procedure begins, the patient is administered anesthesia to ensure they are comfortable and pain-free during the surgery. The type of anesthesia used (general or local) depends on the specific case and the surgeon's preference. Then here’s what typically happens during the procedure:

  • The surgeon makes small incisions around the ankle joint. These incisions are typically less than half an inch in size and serve as access points for the arthroscope and other surgical instruments.
  • An arthroscope is inserted through one of the incisions. The camera sends live images of the internal structures of the ankle joint to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to visualize the area in detail.
  • Using the arthroscope, the surgeon carefully examines the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and other structures within the ankle joint. This visual inspection helps identify abnormalities like tears, impingements, or loose bodies.
  • Depending on the findings during the inspection, the surgeon may make additional small incisions to introduce specialized surgical instruments. These instruments are used to perform various procedures, such as removing damaged tissue, repairing ligaments, or addressing other specific conditions.
  • After completing the necessary procedures, the surgeon removes the instruments and arthroscope, closing the small incisions. In many cases, stitches or small adhesive strips are used to close the incisions.

What can you expect during the recovery period?

The recovery period after ankle arthroscopy is a critical phase in the overall treatment process. While individual experiences may vary based on the specific procedure performed and the patient's unique circumstances, here are general expectations during the recovery period:

  1. Immediate postoperative period

After ankle arthroscopy, patients are typically monitored in a recovery area until they are fully awake and alert. In some cases, patients may be allowed to go home on the same day, while others may require a short hospital stay.

  1. Weight-bearing and ambulation

The ability to bear weight on the affected ankle varies depending on the nature of the procedure. Some patients may be allowed to bear weight immediately, while others may use crutches or a protective boot for a specified period. 

  1. Pain management

Pain and discomfort are common after any surgical procedure, but they are typically less pronounced with ankle arthroscopy than open surgery. 

Pain management may involve prescribed medications, and patients are advised to follow the recommended dosages and communicate any concerns to their healthcare provider.

  1. Rehabilitation and physical therapy

Rehabilitation and physical therapy play a crucial role in the recovery process. The surgeon or physical therapist will prescribe exercises to improve the range of motion, strength, and flexibility in the ankle. 

  1. Return to normal activities.

The timeline for returning to normal activities varies but is generally faster than with open surgery. Patients may gradually resume activities such as walking, driving, and working based on their surgeon's recommendations.

While recovering, patients may be advised to avoid activities that could strain the ankle joint. This may include high-impact sports, strenuous exercise, or activities that put excessive stress on the ankle.

  1. Follow-up appointments

Patients will have follow-up appointments with their surgeon to monitor progress, remove stitches or staples, and assess the overall healing process. The frequency of these appointments varies depending on the individual case.

What are the benefits of a minimally invasive approach?

The minimally invasive approach of ankle arthroscopy offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, such as:

Smaller incisions

One of the primary benefits is the use of small incisions, typically less than half an inch in size. This contrasts with larger incisions required in open surgery. Smaller incisions lead to reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, less scarring, and a more aesthetically pleasing result.

Reduced postoperative pain

Smaller incisions and less tissue disruption generally result in reduced postoperative pain. Patients undergoing ankle arthroscopy often experience less discomfort in the days and weeks following the procedure than those undergoing traditional open surgery.

Faster recovery times

Minimally invasive techniques typically lead to faster recovery times. Patients undergoing ankle arthroscopy often experience an earlier return to weight-bearing activities and daily routines compared to individuals undergoing open surgery. 

This is particularly advantageous for maintaining overall mobility and reducing the impact on daily life.

Lower risk of infection

The risk of infection is minimized with ankle arthroscopy due to the smaller incisions and reduced exposure of internal structures to external contaminants. Lower infection rates contribute to a safer surgical experience.

Quicker return to normal activities

The combination of reduced postoperative pain, faster recovery times, and smaller incisions often allows patients to return to normal activities sooner. This is advantageous for maintaining overall functionality and quality of life.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic surgery center?

At Panther Creek Orthopedics, your well-being is our top priority. As one of the leading orthopedic surgery centers in the state, we are committed to delivering unparalleled patient care, fostering understanding through education, and maintaining the highest standards of excellence.

Choose the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek for orthopedic care that exceeds expectations. We are not just a surgery center; we are your trusted partner on the path to recovery. 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Embarking on an orthopedic surgery journey can be both daunting and transformative. But asking the right questions before and after your surgery may make the journey a little more comfortable.

By actively participating in your healthcare decisions, you not only gain clarity but also play a pivotal role in your recovery. Let's explore the essential questions to guide you through this critical phase.

Before surgery: Preparing for success

Before undergoing orthopedic surgery, it's crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the procedure, the surgeon's expertise, potential risks, and the postoperative plan. Here are vital questions to ask your orthopedic surgeon:

  • What does the orthopedic procedure entail?

Understanding the 'why' behind the recommended surgery empowers you to make an informed choice. Ask your surgeon to explain the procedure in layman's terms and why it is the recommended course of action.

  • Are there alternative treatments or surgical approaches?

Inquire about alternative treatment options or different surgical approaches. Understanding the available choices allows you to make a more informed decision about your healthcare.

  • What is your experience in performing this type of surgery?

Transitioning from understanding the procedure, shift your focus to the person wielding the scalpel. Inquire about your surgeon's experience in performing the specific procedure. 

Ask about their credentials and success rates. An experienced surgeon with a successful track record can instill confidence and contribute significantly to a positive surgical outcome.

  • What are the potential risks and complications?

Every surgical journey comes with its share of risks. Actively engage with your surgeon to comprehend the potential risks and complications associated with the procedure. 

What measures are in place to manage or mitigate these risks? This open dialogue not only prepares you mentally but also establishes trust between you and your healthcare team.

  • How can I prepare for the surgery?

Knowing how to prepare for surgery can contribute to a smoother process. Ask about preoperative instructions, including fasting requirements, medications, and any necessary lifestyle adjustments.

  • What should I expect during the recovery period?

Asking your orthopedic surgeon about the recovery period is crucial for planning and understanding what to expect after surgery. Ask your surgeon about your recovery timeline, including how long you might need off work and when you can resume regular activities.

Furthermore, it’s also important to know about home preparations that can aid your recovery, such as changes in sleeping situations or installing temporary supportive devices.  

  • What postoperative care will I require?

Inquire about the postoperative care plan. This may include enrolling in a physical therapy class or specific rehabilitation programs. Understanding and adhering to the postoperative care plan is crucial for a successful recovery.

During surgery: Staying informed

Surgery is dynamic, and unexpected findings may arise. Ask your surgeon to provide a general overview of what you can expect during the surgery. This might include details about anesthesia, the anticipated duration of the procedure, and any key steps involved. 

Direct communication with your orthopedic surgeon may be limited during the actual surgery due to the medical setting. 

However, if there is an opportunity for pre-surgical consultation or if you have concerns on the day of the surgery, here are some questions to ask:

  • Can you briefly review the surgical plan with me?

Before the surgery begins, ask your surgeon for a brief overview of the surgical plan. This can help clarify any last-minute concerns and ensure that you and the surgical team are on the same page regarding the procedure.

  • What should I expect during the surgery?

Ask your surgeon to provide a general overview of what you can expect during the surgery. This might include details about anesthesia, the anticipated duration of the procedure, and any key steps involved.

  • How will I be monitored during the surgery?

Inquire about the monitoring equipment and procedures in place during the surgery. Understanding how your vital signs will be tracked can provide reassurance about the safety measures in the operating room.

  • What happens if unexpected issues arise during the surgery?

Discuss the surgeon's approach to unforeseen complications. Understanding how unexpected issues will be addressed and what decisions need to be made in real-time helps you mentally prepare for any deviations from the initial plan.

  • What is the expected recovery time in the post-anesthesia care unit?

Understand your anticipated time in the post-anesthesia care unit (PACU). This information helps your family and loved ones plan for your immediate postoperative care and recovery.

Remember, the nature of surgical procedures often limits direct communication during the operation. Most of these questions are best addressed in pre-surgical consultations or discussions before the day of surgery.

After surgery: Navigating the recovery process

After your surgery, engaging with your surgeon is important to ensure a smooth and successful recovery. Here are key questions to ask during your postoperative consultations:

  • What postoperative care instructions should I follow?

Seek detailed postoperative care instructions. This may include information about wound care, prescribed medications, physical therapy, and any lifestyle adjustments necessary for a successful recovery.

  • When should I start physical therapy?

Discuss the role of physical therapy in your recovery. Inquire about the timing for starting physical therapy sessions and how they will contribute to restoring your strength and mobility.

  • When can I resume normal activities?

Understand when you can gradually resume normal activities such as walking, driving, and returning to work. Clear guidance on these aspects ensures a smooth transition back to your routine.

  • What follow-up appointments are needed and why?

Discuss the schedule for follow-up appointments and their purpose. Regular check-ups allow your surgeon to monitor your progress, address any concerns, and make adjustments to your treatment plan if necessary.

  • What long-term care or monitoring will I need?

Discuss any long-term care or monitoring plans. This may include periodic check-ups, imaging studies, or ongoing physical therapy to ensure sustained recovery and prevent future issues.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic clinic in Panther Creek?

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, we stay at the forefront of medical innovation to ensure your surgery is not only safe but also employs the latest and most effective methods.

We assure you of the highest quality care at the hands of our board-certified UNC orthopedics Panther Creek surgeons, who are also leaders in orthopedic surgery. 

Your trust in Panther Creek is the foundation of our commitment to your health and well-being.

Contact us now to learn more!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Chronic plantar fasciitis is a common ailment that affects the daily lives of countless individuals. It's characterized by intense pain in the heel and arch of the foot, often making even the simplest activities, like walking, a painful ordeal. 

If you've been struggling with chronic plantar fasciitis, you're not alone. This blog post delves into plantar fasciotomy, how it is performed, and its benefits to individuals with plantar fasciitis. 

What is plantar fasciotomy?

Plantar fasciotomy is a medical intervention aimed at alleviating chronic plantar fasciitis. Plantar fasciitis is a condition where the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue running along the bottom of the foot, becomes inflamed.

Plantar fasciitis typically causes sharp, stabbing heel pain, especially with the first steps in the morning or after periods of rest. This pain can be quite debilitating and may worsen during prolonged standing or walking.

The procedure aims to alleviate the symptoms of chronic plantar fasciitis, improve mobility, and enhance the patient's overall quality of life.

Who is a good candidate for plantar fasciotomy?

While the decision to undergo plantar fasciotomy should be made in consultation with an orthopedic doctor, a good candidate typically meets the following criteria:

  • Has chronic plantar fasciitis that impairs daily activities.
  • Has plantar fasciitis that has not responded to conservative treatment options.
  • Is in relatively good health with no major medical conditions.
  • Has realistic expectations
  • Has discussed the procedure with an orthopedic specialist.

The decision to undergo plantar fasciotomy should be made after consultation with a doctor and a thorough evaluation of the patient's condition, medical history, and individual circumstances.

How is it performed?

Plantar fasciotomy can be performed using different techniques, depending on the surgeon's preference and the patient's specific needs. Here is an overview of the main methods of performing the procedure:

  1. Open plantar fasciotomy

In this traditional surgical approach, the surgeon incurs the bottom of the foot to access the plantar fascia. The incision is typically made in the area near the heel or the arch.

  1. Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy

Endoscopic plantar fasciotomy is a minimally invasive technique. Instead of a large open incision, the surgeon makes one or more small incisions near the heel or arch of the foot.

A thin, tube-like instrument called an endoscope, equipped with a camera and surgical tools, is inserted through the incision to visualize and operate on the plantar fascia.

This approach aims to minimize scarring, reduce post-operative pain, and speed up the recovery process.

  1. Radiofrequency coblation plantar fasciotomy

This newer technique uses radiofrequency energy to create small lesions in the plantar fascia, which reduces its tension. The surgeon inserts a special probe through a small incision in the skin, and radiofrequency energy is applied to the fascia.

The procedure is minimally invasive and is believed to have the advantage of causing less damage to surrounding tissues.

Regardless of the technique used, the goal of plantar fasciotomy is to release or partially cut the plantar fascia, which reduces tension and inflammation. 

The choice of technique depends on the surgeon's expertise, the patient's condition, and factors such as the extent of the fascia release and the preference for minimally invasive surgery.

Frequently asked questions about plantar fasciotomy surgery

Is there an ideal time for surgery, or should I wait until my condition worsens?

The timing of surgery is a decision to be made in consultation with an orthopedic specialist. It's generally recommended when conservative treatments have failed and the pain significantly impacts your daily life.

How to prepare for a plantar fasciotomy?

Your surgeon will provide specific guidelines for the days leading up to your surgery. This might involve dietary restrictions, medication adjustments, or lifestyle changes to ensure a smooth procedure.

You may also arrange for someone to assist you during the initial days of your recovery, as well as someone to drive you to and from the surgery center.

What to expect right after the surgery?

You will likely wake up in the recovery room with some pain or discomfort. Your foot may be numb, depending on the type of anesthesia used during the surgery. You may also have some bandaging or a surgical dressing around your incision.

Additionally, you'll be advised to keep your foot elevated and avoid putting weight on the operated foot. Crutches or a walker may be used to assist with mobility.

What is the recovery process like?

Here’s a general overview of what you can expect during the recovery process:

  • Your surgeon will guide you on when you can gradually bear weight on the operated foot. This is typically a gradual process, and you'll likely begin with partial weight-bearing.
  • Physical therapy may be recommended to help improve foot strength, flexibility, and mobility. Therapists can guide you through exercises to facilitate your recovery.
  • Continue attending follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress. They may also remove any remaining stitches if necessary.
  • Continue to practice the exercises and foot care recommended by your physical therapist and surgeon to maintain foot health and reduce the risk of recurrence.

How long does it take to return to normal activities after the surgery?

The time it takes to return to normal activities can vary from person to person. Most patients can gradually resume activities within a few months, depending on individual healing and adherence to post-surgery recommendations.

What are the expected outcomes of the surgery?

Plantar fasciotomy is generally effective in reducing heel pain and improving mobility. However, individual results can vary, and it's important to have realistic expectations.

While many patients experience relief from pain after surgery, it may not guarantee a pain-free future. Lifestyle factors and adherence to post-surgery recommendations can influence long-term outcomes.

Are there any potential risks or complications associated with the surgery?

Like any surgical procedure, plantar fasciotomy carries some risks, including infection, nerve damage, or delayed healing. These risks are relatively low, and most patients recover without complications.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic clinic?

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, our commitment is to provide you with unparalleled orthopedic care and services. 

We understand that choosing an orthopaedic surgery center is a significant decision, and that’s why we want to assure you that you are in safe, capable hands with our experienced surgeons, state-of-the-art facility, and stringent safety protocols.

Both Raleigh Orthopaedic and Panther Creek take immense pride in being recognized as two of the leading surgery centers in the state. But more than that, we are beyond honored to be known as trusted healthcare providers within our respective communities. 

Your journey to optimal orthopedic health begins here. Contact us now to learn more!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Are you suffering from debilitating lower back or hip pain? Has it become a constant companion, restricting your mobility and quality of life? 

If you've explored various treatments and found little relief, sacroiliac joint fusion might be the answer to your prayers. 

This comprehensive guide will delve into this procedure, answering key questions, sharing patient experiences, and providing a roadmap to help you regain mobility.

What is sacroiliac joint fusion?

Sacroiliac joint fusion is a surgical procedure designed to treat chronic pain and dysfunction in the sacroiliac joint, which is located at the base of the spine where the sacrum (the triangular bone at the base of the spine) and the ilium (part of the pelvis) meet. 

The sacroiliac joint, commonly referred to as the SI joint, plays a crucial role in transmitting forces from your upper body to the legs while providing stability and absorbing shock.

When the SI joint becomes damaged, it can lead to chronic pain, instability, and limited mobility. Sacroiliac joint fusion is a surgical procedure designed to alleviate these issues by stabilizing the joint.

When do you need a sacroiliac joint fusion?

Sacroiliac joint fusion is typically considered as a treatment option when individuals experience chronic and debilitating pain or dysfunction in the SI joint. Here are some common situations when sacroiliac joint fusion may be necessary:

  • Chronic sacroiliac joint pain - a persistent, severe pain in the lower back, hips, or buttocks, especially one that radiates into the legs. If this pain is diagnosed as originating from the sacroiliac joint, fusion may be considered.
  • Sacroiliitis - an inflammation of the sacroiliac joint often caused by conditions like ankylosing spondylitis or other forms of arthritis. 
  • Traumatic injury - injury to the SI joint, such as fractures or dislocations, can result in ongoing pain and instability. 
  • Ligamentous laxity - a condition where the ligaments that support the sacroiliac joint become overly flexible or damaged. This can lead to instability and pain, which may require fusion to stabilize the joint.

Before considering fusion, individuals typically undergo a course of conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections. If these treatments fail to provide sufficient relief, surgery may become a viable option.

What to expect before the surgery?

Before undergoing sacroiliac joint fusion surgery, there are several important preparations and expectations to keep in mind. 

First, you'll undergo a comprehensive medical evaluation, including a review of your medical history, physical examination, and possibly additional diagnostic tests like X-rays or MRI scans. 

Additionally, your surgeon and medical team will provide specific pre-operative instructions. These instructions may include details on fasting before surgery, discontinuing certain medications, and any other preparations to ensure you are in optimal condition for the procedure.

How is sacroiliac joint fusion performed?

Sacroiliac joint fusion is a surgical procedure designed to stabilize the sacroiliac joint and alleviate pain and dysfunction. It can be performed using different techniques, but here is a general overview of how sacroiliac joint fusion is typically done:

Anesthesia and positioning

Before the surgery begins, you will be placed under anesthesia. You will also be positioned on the operating table in a way that provides the surgeon access to the sacroiliac joint. This positioning may involve lying face down or on your side.

Sacroiliac joint fusion surgery

The surgeon will make a small incision near the sacroiliac joint. The size and location of the incision can vary, but minimally invasive techniques often use smaller incisions. He/she will then perform the following:

  • Carefully move muscles and tissues to access the sacroiliac joint. A special retractor may be used to keep the tissues out of the way during the procedure.
  • Prepare the sacroiliac joint for fusion by removing any damaged or arthritic cartilage from the joint surfaces to ensure a clean and stable fusion.
  • The surgeon will insert implants into the joint to achieve fusion. These implants may be screws, rods, plates, or other devices. 
  • A bone graft may be used to facilitate fusion. This graft material may come from your own body (autograft) or a donor (allograft). The graft material is placed between the sacrum and ilium to encourage bone growth and fusion.

After the implants and bone graft are in place, the surgeon will close the incision using sutures or staples. Sterile dressings are applied to the incision site to promote healing.

What to expect during the recovery stage and rehabilitation?

Recovery and rehabilitation after sacroiliac joint fusion surgery are crucial phases in your journey toward improved mobility and pain relief. Here's what you can generally expect during this period:

Pain management

You may experience some discomfort or pain at the surgical site. Your doctor will prescribe pain medications and provide instructions on their proper use.

Restricted activities

You'll be advised to avoid certain activities that strain or disrupt the healing process. This may include heavy lifting, bending at the waist, and high-impact activities. 

However, you'll be encouraged to start moving and walking as soon as possible after the surgery. Initially, you may need assistance, such as crutches or a walker, to support your mobility.

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is a crucial component of your rehabilitation. You'll work with a physical therapist to perform exercises that help strengthen the muscles around the sacroiliac joint and promote joint stability. These exercises are tailored to your individual needs and progress as you heal.

Over time, you'll gradually increase your activity levels under the guidance of your healthcare team. This may include returning to light daily activities, such as driving and work, as you progress in your recovery.

Follow-up appointments

You'll have scheduled follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your progress. During these visits, your surgeon will assess your healing, address any concerns, and make necessary adjustments to your treatment plan.

FAQ: Common questions about sacroiliac joint fusion

How long does the surgery take?

The surgery typically lasts a few hours, and you'll be closely monitored by the medical team throughout. Your surgeon will explain what to expect in detail before the operation.

What's the expected recovery time?

Initial recovery may take a few weeks, with full recovery in a few months.

Will I need to make lifestyle changes after the surgery?

In some cases, lifetime lifestyle adjustments may be necessary to help prevent the recurrence of sacroiliac joint dysfunction or to protect the fused joint. This includes the following:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight.
  • Practicing good posture and body mechanics when lifting objects or performing daily tasks. 
  • Avoiding prolonged sitting and the use of ergonomic chairs.
  • Continuing physical therapy and rehabilitation exercises.

UNC Orthopedics Panther Creek - Your Trusted Partner in Excellence

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, we are committed to your well-being and dedicated to providing the highest quality of care. As one of the leading surgery centers in the state, we prioritize your safety, education, and overall experience.

When you choose the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, you're not just choosing a healthcare facility; you're choosing a partner in your journey towards improved health and mobility.

Contact us now to experience the best outpatient orthopedic clinic in the area.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

When an injury strikes, the path to recovery begins with informed choices and proper guidance. Foot and ankle fractures can be particularly challenging, impacting mobility and daily life. 

In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the essential steps for healing foot and ankle fractures一from understanding the types of fractures to innovative treatment approaches and long-term recovery strategies.

What is foot and ankle fracture?

A foot and ankle fracture refers to a break or cracks in the bones of the foot and/or ankle. This type of injury can involve various bones, including those in the toes, midfoot, hindfoot, and ankle joint. 

Foot and ankle fractures can vary in location, pattern, and severity. Here are some of the different types of fractures that can affect the foot and ankle:

  1. Displaced fractures

A displaced fracture occurs when the bone breaks into two or more pieces, and the fragments are not in their normal alignment.

  1. Non-displaced fractures

In contrast, non-displaced fractures involve a break in the bone, but the fragments remain relatively aligned.

  1. Open (Compound) fractures

In an open fracture, the broken bone punctures through the skin, increasing the risk of infection.

  1. Closed fractures

Closed fractures are fractures where the bone breaks but does not pierce through the skin.

  1. Stress fractures

These are small cracks in the bone caused by repetitive stress or overuse. They are common in athletes and individuals who engage in high-impact activities.

What causes foot and ankle fractures?

Foot and ankle fractures can be caused by various factors, ranging from traumatic incidents to underlying medical conditions. Here are some of the most common causes:

  1. Trauma and accidents

Sudden and forceful impacts, such as falls, automobile accidents, sports injuries, or trips and slips, can result in foot and ankle fractures.

  1. Sports injuries

Participating in high-impact sports or activities that involve running, jumping, and rapid changes in direction can increase the risk of fractures, especially in the ankle area.

  1. Repetitive stress

Overuse or repetitive stress on the foot and ankle, common in athletes and those engaging in excessive physical activities, can lead to stress fractures.

  1. Age-related changes

As people age, bones may become more brittle, making them more prone to fractures from even minor accidents.

  1. Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as bone tumors or metabolic disorders, can weaken bones and make them more susceptible to fractures.

How are foot and ankle fractures diagnosed?

Diagnosing foot and ankle fractures involves a combination of medical history, physical examination, and diagnostic imaging. 

An orthopedic specialist will carefully assess your symptoms, perform tests, and use imaging techniques to diagnose the fracture accurately. Some examples of diagnostic procedures include X-rays, CT scans, MRIs, ultrasounds, and bone scans.

How to treat foot and ankle fractures?

The treatment of a foot and ankle fracture depends on several factors, including the type and severity of the fracture, the age and overall health of the patient, and any associated complications.

For stable and non-displaced fractures, doctors usually opt for non-surgical options, such as RICE therapy, immobilization, pain management, and physical therapy. However, a more complex case of fracture calls for surgical interventions. 

Foot and ankle fracture repair involves medical interventions to realign and stabilize the fractured bones, promote healing, and restore normal function. 

The specific procedures and techniques used can vary based on the type and severity of the fracture. Here's an overview of what typically happens during foot and ankle fracture repair:

Preoperative preparation

Before surgery, you will undergo a thorough evaluation, including medical history, physical examination, and imaging studies (X-rays, CT scans, MRI) to assess the extent and nature of the fracture.

Surgical approach

Before the procedure, you will receive anesthesia to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free during the surgery. The type of anesthesia used (general or regional anesthesia) depends on the surgical approach and your medical condition.

The surgeon makes an incision near the fractured area to access the bones and any displaced fragments. The size and location of the incision vary based on the specific fracture.

Fracture reduction

If the fracture is displaced, the surgeon carefully manipulates the bone fragments into proper alignment. This process is called fracture reduction.

Fixation

  • Internal fixation: The surgeon uses specialized hardware such as screws, plates, rods, or wires to hold the bone fragments in place while they heal. These devices may be placed on the surface of the bone (external fixation) or implanted internally (internal fixation).
  • External fixation: In some cases, an external fixator, a frame-like device with pins or wires, is applied externally to stabilize the fracture and promote proper alignment.

Bone grafting (if necessary)

In cases where the fracture has caused significant bone loss or damage, bone grafts may be used to facilitate healing and stimulate bone growth.

Closure and dressing

Once the bone fragments are secured, the incision is closed using sutures or staples. A sterile dressing or bandage is applied to protect the surgical site.

Postoperative recovery

After surgery, you will be monitored closely in the recovery area. Depending on the procedure and your overall health, you may be discharged the same day or require a short hospital stay.

What happens during the rehabilitation process and recovery?

Rehabilitation and physical therapy play a crucial role in the recovery process. You will work with a physical therapist to gradually regain strength, flexibility, and mobility in the affected foot and ankle.

Weight-bearing progression

As healing progresses, your healthcare provider will guide you through a gradual return to weight-bearing activities. The timeline and progression will depend on the type of fracture and surgical approach.

Physical therapy

Post-fracture rehabilitation often involves physical therapy to restore strength, flexibility, and mobility. Exercises and stretches are tailored to your specific needs and recovery stage.

Functional recovery

Depending on the severity of the fracture, it may take several weeks to months for full functional recovery. It's important to follow the guidance of your healthcare provider and engage in rehabilitation exercises consistently.

Monitoring and follow-up 

Regular follow-up appointments with your healthcare provider are essential to monitor healing progress, adjust treatment as needed, and address any concerns or complications that may arise.

Frequently asked questions on foot and ankle fracture repair?

  1. What to expect right after surgery?

Pain and discomfort, swelling, dressing on the incision, limited mobility, and medical monitoring. Your doctor will prescribe the proper medications and recommend pain management techniques to lessen your symptoms. 

  1. How long does it take to recover from fracture repair surgery?

Recovery varies, but full functional recovery may take weeks to months.

  1. When can weight-bearing activities resume after fracture repair?

Gradual weight-bearing is introduced as healing progresses, guided by your doctor.

  1. How long do follow-up appointments continue after surgery?

Follow-up appointments are scheduled until healing is complete, usually several months.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic clinic?

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, your well-being is our top priority. As a premier destination for orthopedic care, we are committed to providing you with a safe, comfortable, and cutting-edge environment for your surgical journey.

We believe that informed patients are empowered patients. Our dedicated staff of UNC Orthopedics Panther Creek is here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and guide you through each phase of your surgical process. Experience the difference of excellence.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

With most surgeries, some amount of pain is expected. Some people hesitate to have surgery for fear of a long, challenging, and painful recovery. It is important to consider that some surgeries are more difficult to recover from than others, but you will find relief from your symptoms if you can get through the recovery period. 

Some surgeries cause more pain and have a longer period of recovery than others. Spine and joint replacement surgeries are included in this category. However, every individual is different. Some people experience more pain than others. 

It is important to discuss your concerns and health history when considering surgery, including your pain tolerance. Providers at our outpatient orthopedic clinic in Cary can discuss expectations depending on the surgery performed. 

This article will discuss orthopedic surgeries that tend to be more painful or have a more lengthy recovery period. 

1. Spinal Fusion Surgery

Spinal fusion is a procedure where two vertebrae are fused to prevent the movement that is causing pain. Often the surgeon will use bone grafting, taking bone from the hip, which is used to facilitate bone growth and fuse the vertebrae. 

This type of procedure is typically recommended to address various spinal conditions that cause instability, pain, and limited mobility. Some examples include the following:

  • Spinal instability
  • Spinal deformities, like scoliosis, kyphosis, and lordosis
  • Herniated discs
  • Spinal fractures
  • Chronic back pain

Spinal fusion may be considered a last resort when conservative treatment options fail to provide relief.

What are the challenges faced during recovery?

Spinal surgery is inherently delicate due to the spine's intricate structure and proximity to vital nerves and the spinal cord. As a result, spinal fusion carries higher risks than other orthopedic surgeries. 

After surgery, the recovery period can take up to six months while the vertebrae fuse to the bone graft. It is not unusual to stay at the hospital for several days after having a spinal fusion. 

During recovery, patients may encounter various challenges that can impact their healing process and overall well-being. This includes the following:

  • Post-surgical pain and discomfort
  • Limitations on certain activities, like heavy lifting, bending at the waist, or engaging in high-impact sports. 
  • Dependence on assistive devices
  • Slow healing that can take months to years.
  • Nerve irritation or damage
  • Muscle weakness or atrophy (if without proper rehabilitation)

Overall, spinal fusion surgery is a complex procedure that requires careful consideration of the risks and benefits. Proper preoperative planning, a skilled surgical team, and diligent postoperative care are essential to ensure the best possible outcome for the patient. 

2. Complex Spinal Reconstruction

Complex spinal construction refers to a specialized surgical procedure that involves extensive and intricate interventions to correct severe spinal damage. Common diagnoses include spinal stenosis, scoliosis, spinal tumors, spinal trauma, and spinal infection. 

With these surgeries, the surgeon uses metal rods and screws to correct a curved spine or make it more stable. 

The main goal of a complex spinal reconstruction is to restore spinal alignment, stabilize the spine, relieve pressure on nerves and the spinal cord, and improve the patient's overall function and quality of life.

Why is it hard to recover from complex spinal reconstruction?

Recovery from the procedure can be more painful than other orthopedic surgeries because of the high number of nerves in the spine. Furthermore, a complex spinal reconstruction causes significant soft tissue trauma, thus resulting in significant postoperative pain and discomfort.

Other factors that can contribute to the difficulty of recovery include:

  • High risk of complications
  • Limited mobility
  • Strict activity restrictions
  • Potential for nonunion or pseudoarthrosis

Despite these challenges, it's important to note that many patients achieve significant improvements in pain relief, mobility, and quality of life after successful complex spinal reconstruction. Working closely with a skilled surgical team and committed rehabilitation efforts can lead to positive outcomes in the long run.

3. Knee Replacement

Knee replacement surgeries or total knee arthroplasty (TKA) are increasingly prevalent due to the aging population and the rise of degenerative joint conditions like osteoarthritis. 

This procedure becomes necessary when conservative treatments no longer provide relief and the joint's function significantly deteriorates. 

With a knee replacement, the surgeon removes damaged joints of the knee, replacing them with an artificial joint or implant. It is a common procedure that can cause a painful recovery process.

What are the challenges faced during recovery?

The recovery phase following knee replacement surgery can be challenging for patients due to various factors. Some of the primary challenges include:

  • Pain, discomfort, and soreness despite pain medications.
  • Limited mobility
  • Demanding physical therapy that requires dedication and effort.
  • Muscle weakness, stiffness, and swelling.

Why is it hard to recover from a knee replacement?

Knee replacement surgery is considered challenging to recover from due to the complexity of the joint and the extensive surgery involved. The procedure requires the removal of damaged tissue and the insertion of an artificial implant, disrupting normal knee function. 

Recovery involves healing, regaining strength, and relearning mobility patterns. Additionally, a full recovery is expected by following after-care instructions, including medication, follow-up appointments, and physical therapy. 

4. Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Surgery

ACL injuries are common, especially among athletes involved in high-impact sports like soccer, basketball, and football. The ACL is a crucial ligament in the knee that helps stabilize and control the joint's movement. 

When torn or ruptured, it can result in knee instability, pain, and a significant reduction in knee function. The surgeon will then reconstruct or replace torn parts of the ACL.

Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy may be effective for mild cases or less active individuals, but ACL surgeries are often necessary for those with severe injuries or those seeking to return to demanding physical activities and sports.

Though ACL procedures are minimally invasive, they can still cause pain. Recovery from the surgery can take at least six to nine months, depending on the patient’s health and rehabilitation progress.

What are the challenges faced during recovery?

Recovering from ACL surgery presents several challenges for patients, including postoperative pain, swelling, muscle weakness, limited mobility, and problems in balance and proprioception.

Moreover, patients may experience psychological challenges related to the fear of re-injuring the knee.

Why is it hard to recover from ACL surgery?

ACL surgery is considered challenging to recover from due to several factors. The surgery involves repairing or reconstructing a vital ligament in the knee, which is essential for knee stability during physical activities. 

The recovery process demands a delicate balance between protecting the repaired ligament and actively engaging in rehabilitation to regain strength and mobility. 

Additionally, the success of ACL surgery and recovery depends on the patient's commitment to adhering to rehabilitation protocols and making necessary lifestyle adjustments to avoid re-injury.

5. Shoulder Replacement

Shoulder replacement, also known as shoulder arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure used to treat severe shoulder joint damage or arthritis that causes pain, loss of function, and decreased quality of life. 

When the joint's cartilage wears away due to conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis, the bones rub against each other, resulting in pain and limited movement. 

Shoulder replacement surgery involves replacing the damaged parts of the joint with artificial components, such as a metal ball and plastic socket, to alleviate pain and restore shoulder function. Check out our blog post and learn more about when is the right time to have a shoulder replacement.

What are the challenges faced during recovery?

Recovering from shoulder replacement surgery presents several challenges for patients, including the following:

  • Postoperative pain: Patients typically experience pain and discomfort after the surgery, affecting mobility and daily activities.
  • Immobilization: In the initial recovery phase, the shoulder may need to be immobilized in a sling to protect the healing joint.
  • Restricted movement: Patients must adhere to strict limitations on shoulder movement to prevent complications and support proper healing.
  • Physical therapy: Rehabilitation through physical therapy is crucial to regain shoulder strength and function but requires patience and commitment.
  • Muscle weakness: Muscles around the shoulder may weaken during the recovery period, requiring targeted exercises to rebuild strength.
  • Gradual progression: Recovery is a gradual process, and patients may need several months to fully regain shoulder function and range of motion.
  • Potential complications: The risk of complications, such as infection or stiffness, can complicate the recovery process.

Why is it hard to recover from shoulder replacement surgery?

Recovering from shoulder replacement surgery is challenging because the shoulder joint is inherently complex and involved in various movements and activities. 

The procedure involves manipulating and replacing essential structures, which can lead to postoperative pain and the need for temporary immobilization. Restoring normal shoulder function requires a carefully managed balance between protecting the healing joint and engaging in progressive rehabilitation. 

A shoulder replacement is considered major surgery and can have a lengthy recovery period. But you can expect a successful recovery by participating in physical therapy, taking medications as prescribed, and following guidelines provided by your surgeon. 

Have the Best Recovery Possible at our Orthopedic Surgery Center in Panther Creek

What can you expect at our orthopedic surgery center? We are leaders in the diagnosis and treatment of orthopedic procedures. You can trust our board-certified, fellowship-trained doctors to help you recover with the least amount of pain possible.

We know you want to get back to your daily life. That is why we work with our patients on a treatment plan to have a successful recovery, even after the most complicated procedures. 

Our surgeons utilize the best and most advanced surgical techniques to ensure the best possible outcomes. 

Connect with our surgery center at 919-582-3050 for additional information. We, at UNC Orthopedics Panther Creek, look forward to assisting you as your partner in care.

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.


Dupuytren's Contracture is a relatively common condition that affects about 5% to 25% of people worldwide. The prevalence tends to increase with age, and it is more commonly seen in individuals of European descent.

In this blog post, we will explore the various aspects of Dupuytren's contracture一from its causes and diagnosis to non-surgical treatments and the surgical intervention known as Dupuytren's contracture release. 

What is Dupuytren’s Contracture?

Dupuytren's Contracture is a hand condition characterized by the progressive thickening and contracture of the connective tissues in the palm. This results in the formation of nodules or cords, causing the fingers to bend inward and limiting their range of motion. Other symptoms include:

  • Finger contracture
  • Limited range of motion
  • Grip strength reduction
  • Functional limitations
  • Pain and discomfort

While the exact cause is unknown, certain risk factors, such as genetics, age, and gender, can increase the likelihood of developing this condition.

How is Dupuyren’s Contracture diagnosed?

Dupuytren's contracture is typically diagnosed through a combination of medical history assessment and physical examination. 

A hand surgeon or orthopedic specialist will conduct a thorough physical examination of your hand(s). They will evaluate it through palpation, finger flexion, and hand function.

In some cases, additional imaging tests such as ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) may be ordered to evaluate the extent of the disease further or to assess the involvement of deeper structures.

What are the non-surgical treatment options for Dupuytren’s contracture?

Surgery is often the most effective treatment for severe cases of Dupuytren's contracture. However, non-surgical options may still be considered in the early stages of mild cases. 

While these treatments cannot reverse the disease, they aim to alleviate symptoms, slow disease progression, and improve hand function. Some common non-surgical treatment options include collagenase injections, stretching therapy, and dynamic splinting.

What is Dupuytren's contracture release?

Surgical intervention may be necessary when non-surgical options fail to provide satisfactory results or the contractures become severe. Dupuytren's contracture release surgery aims to remove the diseased connective tissue, releasing the contracted fingers and restoring hand function. 

Several surgical techniques are available, and the choice of method depends on factors such as the severity and complexity of the contractures.

  1. Fasciectomy

This is the most common surgical technique for Dupuytren's contracture. It involves removing the diseased connective tissue (fascia) in the palm and fingers. The surgeon makes an incision in the palm and carefully excises the affected tissue. 

In some cases, skin grafts or flaps may be required to cover the surgical site. Fasciectomy can be performed as either a partial (removing part of the fascia) or a total (removing all affected fascia) procedure.

  1. Fasciotomy

Fasciotomy is another surgical technique used to release the contractures in Dupuytren's contracture. Instead of removing the entire diseased tissue, the surgeon strategically makes small incisions in the palm and fingers to release the contracted bands. 

This technique provides immediate relief and improved finger extension. However, the contractures may eventually recur over time.

  1. Needle aponeurotomy (needle fasciotomy)

Needle aponeurotomy, or percutaneous needle fasciotomy or percutaneous aponeurotomy, is a minimally invasive surgical technique. The surgeon uses a small needle to puncture and divide the contracted tissue bands. 

This technique is performed under local anesthesia and can be suitable for selected cases with specific contracture patterns. Needle aponeurotomy provides temporary relief, and the contractures may reoccur in the future.

  1. Dermofasciectomy

Dermofasciectomy combines the removal of the diseased fascia with the excision of the overlying skin. This technique is usually reserved for cases with significant skin involvement, such as severe contractures or recurrent Dupuytren's disease. T

he surgeon removes the affected fascia, along with a layer of skin, and then closes the wound using skin grafts or flaps.

  1. Limited open fasciectomy

Limited open fasciectomy is a modified approach to fasciectomy. Instead of making a long incision in the palm, the surgeon makes smaller incisions to access and remove the diseased tissue in specific locations. 

This technique minimizes scarring and improves recovery time while effectively releasing the contractures.

How to prepare for a Dupuytren’s contracture release procedure?

Before undergoing Dupuytren's contracture release surgery, your healthcare provider will evaluate your candidacy for the procedure. This evaluation may involve a thorough medical history review, physical examination, and possibly additional tests. 

Additionally, you will be informed about the expected outcomes, potential risks, and complications associated with the surgery. Pre-operative preparations may include discontinuing certain medications, adjusting lifestyle habits, and arranging post-operative care and support. 

It's important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully to ensure a smooth surgical experience.

How is the surgery performed?

During Dupuytren's contracture release surgery, the goal is to surgically release the contracted tissue bands in the palm and fingers, allowing for improved finger extension and restoring hand function. 

While specific details may vary depending on the surgical technique used, here is a general overview of what happens during the surgery:

  • Before the surgery begins, anesthesia is administered to ensure you are comfortable and pain-free during the procedure. 
  • Once the anesthesia has taken effect, the surgeon starts making an incision in the palm. The location and length of the incision may depend on the specific technique employed and the extent of the contractures. 
  • After making the incision, the surgeon carefully dissects the layers of skin, fat, and tissue to expose the contracted fascia. They will then remove or release the affected fascia and cords responsible for the contractures. The extent of tissue removal depends on the chosen surgical technique and the severity of the contractures.
  • Depending on the specific circumstances and the extent of the disease, additional procedures may be performed alongside the contracture release. These may include methods such as skin grafting, flap techniques, or joint capsule releases. 
  • Once the necessary tissue release and modifications have been made, the surgeon carefully closes the incision using sutures or other closure techniques. 
  • Following the surgery, the hand is typically dressed with a sterile bandage or dressing to protect the surgical site. 

What to expect after the procedure?

Proper post-surgical care and rehabilitation are vital for optimizing outcomes and restoring hand function. You will receive detailed instructions on wound care, pain management, and the use of splints or dressings. 

Hand therapy and rehabilitation exercises are typically prescribed to improve range of motion, strength, and function. Physical therapy sessions may be necessary to regain optimal hand function. 

It's essential to follow the recommended rehabilitation plan, attend follow-up appointments, and communicate any concerns or issues to your healthcare provider.

Frequently asked questions on Dupuytren’s contracture release surgery

How long does the surgery take?

The duration of the surgery varies depending on the severity and complexity of the contractures, but it typically takes one to two hours.

What is the recovery time after the surgery?

The recovery time can vary, but most individuals can expect several weeks to months for a full recovery. Hand therapy and rehabilitation are often recommended to optimize healing and restore hand function.

Will there be scarring after the surgery?

While some scarring is inevitable, efforts are made to minimize scarring and optimize wound healing. Your surgeon will provide guidance on postoperative care to promote proper healing and reduce scarring as much as possible.

What are the risks associated with the surgery?

Potential risks include infection, bleeding, nerve damage, stiffness, recurrence of contractures, and scarring. Your surgeon will discuss these risks with you before the procedure.

Will the surgery completely eliminate Dupuytren's contracture?

Surgery can effectively release the contracted tissue, improving finger extension and hand function. However, it does not cure Dupuytren's contracture, and there is a possibility of recurrence in the future.

OSC of Panther Creek  - The best orthopedic surgery center in the Triangle

At the Orthopaedic Surgery Center of Panther Creek, your safety and well-being are our top priorities. With our state-of-the-art surgery centers, you can trust that you are in the hands of experienced professionals dedicated to providing high-quality care. 

Our center prioritizes patient education, ensuring you have a thorough understanding of your condition and treatment options. Our commitment to excellence positions our surgery centers as leaders in the state, offering top-notch care and advanced surgical solutions. 

Our orthopedic surgeons and staff look forward to guiding you toward optimal health and recovery. Contact us to learn more!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

Tendons are an integral part of our musculoskeletal system, connecting muscles to bones and enabling movement. However, when tendon injuries occur, they can severely impact our ability to perform daily activities. 

Whether you're curious about the surgical process or seeking tips to enhance your recovery, this article has got you covered. This comprehensive guide will explore the world of tendon repair surgery, shedding light on common procedures and providing essential recovery tips.

How do tendons get injured?

Tendon injuries occur when the tendons, which connect muscles to bones, become damaged or torn. These injuries can result from various causes, including overuse, trauma, acute injury, age-related degeneration, and sports accidents.

The types of tendon injuries can vary based on their severity and location. Here are some common examples:

If you suspect a tendon injury or experience persistent pain or functional limitations, it's recommended to consult with a healthcare professional for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.

The decision to undergo tendon surgery is individualized and depends on various factors, including the type and severity of the injury and the patient's overall health, lifestyle, and functional goals. 

Consulting with a healthcare professional specializing in orthopedics or sports medicine is crucial to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for each specific injury case.

What are the different types of tendon repair procedures?

Different types of tendon repair procedures may be performed depending on the specific tendon injury and its characteristics. Here are some common types of surgical procedures used to treat tendon muscle injuries:

  1. Primary tendon reconstruction

Primary tendon repair is a surgical procedure performed to directly reattach the torn ends of a tendon using sutures. It is typically used for acute injuries where the muscle has undergone a clean, well-aligned tear. The procedure aims to restore the continuity of the connective tissue, allowing it to heal and regain its strength and function.

During primary tendon surgery, the surgeon carefully aligns the torn ends of the tendon and sutures them together using strong stitches. 

The sutures hold the ends of the filaments in place, facilitating the healing process. In some cases, additional techniques, such as reinforcement with suture anchors or augmentation with biological or synthetic materials, may be used to enhance the stability and strength of the repair.

  1. Tendon grafting

Tendon grafting is a type of surgery used to fix a tendon with a gap or insufficient tissue for direct reconstruction. It involves using a graft一a piece of tendon tissue一to bridge the gap between the torn ends of the injured tendon.

  • During tendon grafting, the surgeon harvests a tendon graft from another part of the patient's body (autograft) or uses a donor graft from a cadaver (allograft). The choice of graft depends on factors such as the location and size of the tendon injury, the patient's overall health, and the surgeon's preference.
  • The harvested tendon graft is carefully prepared and trimmed to the appropriate size.
  • It is then secured to the torn ends of the damaged tendon using sutures or specialized fixation devices. 
  • The graft acts as a scaffold, facilitating the healing process and providing support for new tissue growth. 
  • Over time, the body's natural healing processes integrate the graft with the surrounding tissues, effectively replacing the injured portion of the tendon.

Tendon grafting is commonly performed when there is a substantial gap between the torn tendon ends or when the quality of the muscle tissue is compromised. It allows for the reconstruction of the tendon and restoration of its strength and functionality.

  1. Tendon transfer

Tendon transfer, or tendon reconstruction or transposition, is a surgical procedure that involves rerouting a functional tendon from its original muscle and attaching it to a different muscle or bone to restore or enhance the movement of a specific joint.

  • During tendon transfer surgery, the surgeon carefully identifies and accesses the healthy tendon that will be transferred. 
  • The tendon is detached from its original insertion site, preserving its blood supply and integrity. 
  • The surgeon then repositions the tendon, often passing it through a pulley system or tunnel, and secures it to its new attachment site using sutures, anchors, or other fixation techniques.
  • The transferred tendon assumes the role and function of the damaged or non-functional tendon, thereby restoring muscle strength, joint stability, or specific movement patterns.

This procedure is commonly used to address conditions such as tendon ruptures, severe tendon injuries, nerve palsies, and muscle imbalances. The purpose of tendon transfer is to compensate for the loss of function or strength caused by a damaged or non-functional tendon. 

  1. Arthroscopic tendon repair

Arthroscopic tendon reconstruction is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat damaged or torn tendons using arthroscopy. Arthroscopy involves using a tiny camera called an arthroscope and specialized surgical instruments inserted through small incisions.

  • During an arthroscopic tendon procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions near the affected joint and inserts the arthroscope to visualize the damaged tendon and surrounding structures. 
  • The arthroscope transmits images to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to assess the extent of the tendon injury and guide the process.
  • Using specialized instruments, the surgeon performs the reconstruction by reattaching the torn ends of the tendon. Sutures or other fixation techniques are used to secure the tendon in its proper position and promote healing. 
  • In some cases, additional procedures such as debridement (removal of damaged tissue) or tissue augmentation may be performed during the arthroscopic procedure.

The advantages of arthroscopic tendon reconstruction include smaller incisions, reduced tissue trauma, decreased scarring, and potentially faster recovery compared to traditional open surgery. 

Additionally, it allows for better visualization of the joint structures, precise repair, and the ability to simultaneously address any associated joint pathology.

  1. Open tendon surgery

Open tendon surgery, also known as traditional or open tendon repair, is a procedure that involves a larger incision made directly over the affected tendon to access and fix it. Unlike minimally invasive procedures, open tendon surgery involves a more extensive surgical approach.

  • During open tendon surgery, the surgeon makes a single, longer incision or multiple incisions over the affected tendon area. This provides direct access to the injured tendon and allows for better visualization and manipulation of the tissues.
  • Once the tendon is exposed, the surgeon carefully examines the extent of the injury and prepares the damaged tendon for restoration. 
  • The torn ends of the tendon are aligned and sutured together using strong stitches or sutures. In some cases, additional techniques, such as reinforcement with suture anchors or augmentation of synthetic materials, may be performed.

Open tendon surgery is often performed in cases where the tendon injury is complex, extensive, or requires additional procedures beyond simple repair.

Frequently asked questions about tendon repair surgery?

How can I prepare myself for tendon repair surgery?

Preparing yourself for a tendon reconstruction procedure is vital to ensure a smooth and successful surgery. First, attend your scheduled appointment with your orthopedic surgeon, who will discuss the surgery in detail. 

Additionally, they will assess your overall health, review your medical history, perform any necessary tests or imaging, and provide specific instructions for preparation. Here are some other preparation tips that you may follow:

  • Follow pre-operative instructions, such as specific medications to avoid, fasting guidelines, and other lifestyle modifications.
  • Arrange for transportation on the day of surgery and to drive you home afterward. You may feel groggy or have limited mobility immediately after the procedure, so having assistance is essential.
  • Inform your physician about the medications and supplements you are currently taking. 
  • If you smoke, consider quitting or reducing smoking before surgery, as smoking can impair healing.
  • Make necessary arrangements at home to ensure a comfortable and safe recovery. Prepare your living space, arrange for any required assistive devices (crutches or braces), and stock up on essential supplies.

How long does tendon repair surgery typically take?

The duration of tendon repair can vary depending on the location and complexity of the tendon injury, the specific surgical technique used, the surgeon's experience, and any additional procedures that may be performed. However, tendon reconstruction generally takes approximately 1 to 3 hours.

What to expect after the procedure?

After tendon surgery, it's important to have realistic expectations about the recovery process. Here are general aspects of what to expect and some recovery tips to boost healing:

  • Your surgeon may immobilize the repaired tendon with a splint, cast, or brace immediately after surgery. 
  • It's common to experience pain, swelling, and discomfort in the area of the surgical site. Your surgeon will prescribe pain medications to manage any post-operative pain.
  • Elevating the affected limb and applying ice packs as directed can help reduce swelling and provide relief.
  • You may be advised to restrict activities and avoid putting weight on the affected limb for a specific period. 
  • Use crutches, braces, or other assistive devices as instructed. They aid in protecting the surgical site, maintaining stability, and facilitating safe movement during the early stages of recovery.
  • Eat a balanced diet to support healing and tissue repair. Stay hydrated and avoid smoking or excessive alcohol consumption, which can impede recovery.
  • You will have follow-up appointments with your surgeon to monitor your recovery progress. During these visits, the surgeon will assess the healing of the tendon, remove any stitches or sutures if necessary, and make any necessary adjustments to your rehabilitation plan.

What is the recovery time after tendon repair surgery?

It's important to note that recovery time is not solely determined by the surgical procedure itself but also by the rehabilitation process and your body's healing response. 

Generally, patients take at least 12 weeks to six months before they experience full healing and recovery. 

Will I need physical therapy after the surgery?

Rehabilitation plays a vital role in a patient’s recovery process. Your surgeon will prescribe a physical therapy program tailored to your specific needs. Physical therapy will focus on regaining the range of motion, strengthening the repaired tendon and surrounding muscles, and gradually returning to functional activities.

When can I return to normal activities and sports after tendon repair surgery?

The timeline for returning to normal activities will vary depending on the tendon repaired and your recovery progress. It's important to follow your surgeon's instructions regarding gradual return to activities to avoid re-injury. Returning to sports or high-impact activities will generally take longer and may require specific clearance from your surgeon.

Furthermore, active participation in post-operative physical therapy and adherence to the rehabilitation program is crucial for optimal recovery.

Where to find the best outpatient orthopedic clinic?

Are you in need of top-notch tendon reconstruction and exceptional orthopedic care? UNC Orthopedics Panther Creek is your premier destination for common and specialized orthopedic procedures.

Our clinic is staffed with highly experienced orthopedic surgeons who specialize in treating tendon injuries and other orthopedic conditions. We are equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge technology to ensure accurate diagnosis and precise surgical interventions, such as:

And more!

Don't let tendon injuries or other orthopedic conditions hold you back. Contact us to learn more!

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.

outpatient orthopedic surgery cary
6715 McCrimmon Parkway
Suite 205 A 
Cary, NC 27519
Monday – Friday: 6:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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