When patients arrive at Charlottesville Orthopaedic Center, it is generally because of an injury or condition that is causing pain, discomfort, and affecting their ability to do routine activities they enjoy. Many patients delay seeking beneficial treatments, for fear that it will put them “out of commission” for lengthy periods of time, keeping them stuck on the couch instead of out engaging in an active lifestyle. We’re always a little saddened that patients wait so long to accept treatment, especially since there are so many minimally invasive options now available!
Minimally invasive treatments are meant to be just that – they’re meant to minimize the downtime experienced by patients while dealing with their injuries. Much advancement have been made over the years in this area of orthopaedics, so let’s take a look at what we offer and how these treatments could help you.
WHAT IT DOES: Taking about 10 minutes and requiring only a local anesthetic, VisionScope is an injectable camera that allows doctors to clearly see and evaluate joint conditions. It often eliminates or lessens the need for invasive surgeries or MRI evaluations that can take a lot of time to schedule and complete.
HOW IT CAN WORK FOR YOU: VisionScope is a fantastic innovation for doctors, in that it allows for diagnosis and treatment planning all in a single appointment. It is great for the patient as well, negating a lot of the hassle and multiple appointments that often occur during the diagnosis period, as well as offering answers about the patient’s condition very quickly. The procedure is also relatively pain-free, and most patients can proceed with their normal routine after having a VisionScope evaluation.
WHAT IT DOES: Much like VisionScope, arthroscopy involves the use of a small camera to allow doctors to see the inside of a joint, diagnose the problem, and sometimes make corrections all during a single procedure. It is slightly more invasive than VisionScope, but can offer same-day corrections in some cases.
HOW IT CAN WORK FOR YOU: This procedure is used to treat a wide range of orthopaedic issues, including damaged cartilage, inflamed joints, joint infections, torn ligaments, and scar tissue buildup. Each arthroscopy procedure can be quite different, ranging from short, 30-minute sessions using local anesthetic, to longer sessions requiring general anesthesia. Recovery takes a little longer, involving anti-inflammatory drugs, protection of the injured area, and possibly physical therapy. The benefits, however, include increased pain relief in a very timely manner, especially if the diagnosis and correction can all be done in a single day.
WHAT THEY DO: There are a number of different injection treatments offered by orthopaedic specialists, including joint injections, steroid injections, visco supplements, stem cell, and platelet rich plasma (PRP) therapy. All injection treatments involve injecting a substance near the injury site in order to lessen pain and/or increase healing ability.
HOW THEY CAN WORK FOR YOU: Injection treatments such as joint and steroid injections can offer reduced pain and mobility much faster than other, more invasive treatments, although in some cases they aren’t realistic long-term solutions. Visco supplements are a good option for those suffering from osteoarthritis of the knee, as it allows the immediate increase of hyaluronic acid to the joint, increasing mobility and lessening pain over time. Stem cell injections are a great option for those suffering from osteoarthritis in the hip, knee, shoulder, ankle, or thumb, and most patients can resume normal activity that day. PRP is a promising therapy for injuries that will not heal using other traditional treatments – learn more about this therapy here.
WHAT IT DOES: Tenex is a procedure that utilizes ultrasound technology and ultrasonic energy to break down damaged tendon tissue. It requires only local anesthetic and a very tiny incision – no stitches are required, and patients can resume most normal activities within six weeks.
HOW IT CAN WORK FOR YOU: Patients who suffer from chronic tendon pain that has not responded to other treatments may be great candidates for the Tenex procedure. The minimally invasive nature of Tenex means freedom to live a normal life while recovering, and many patients experience immediate pain relief.