8 Most Common Orthopedic Surgeries
Orthopedic surgeries are performed to treat various conditions and injuries affecting the musculoskeletal system. While the prevalence of specific surgeries may vary depending on factors such as region and population, the following are eight of the most common orthopedic surgeries:
1. Total joint replacement:
This surgery involves replacing a damaged joint, such as the hip or knee, with a prosthetic implant. Total joint replacement, also known as arthroplasty, is a common orthopedic surgery performed to treat severe joint damage caused by conditions such as osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, or injury. The procedure involves removing the damaged joint surfaces and replacing them with artificial components, known as prostheses, made from metal, plastic, or ceramic materials.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to visualize, diagnose, and treat joint problems by inserting a small camera and surgical tools through tiny incisions. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to visualize, diagnose, and treat joint-related conditions using a specialized instrument called an arthroscope. The arthroscope is a thin, flexible fiber-optic tube with a light source and a camera attached to it.
3. Spinal fusion:
This surgery aims to stabilize the spine by fusing two or more vertebrae together, often to treat conditions like spinal deformities (e.g., scoliosis) or degenerative disc disease. Spinal fusion is a surgical procedure that aims to stabilize and fuse two or more vertebrae in the spine. It is commonly performed to treat conditions such as spinal deformities (e.g., scoliosis), degenerative disc disease, spinal fractures, or spinal instability. The procedure involves joining the affected vertebrae using bone grafts, implants, or a combination of both. Spinal fusion helps alleviate pain, improve spinal stability, and prevent further damage by promoting the growth of new bone and eliminating motion between the fused vertebrae.
4. Fracture repair:
Orthopedic surgeons frequently perform surgeries to repair broken bones. These procedures involve realigning the fractured bone and immobilizing it with plates, screws, or rods to facilitate proper healing. Fracture repair is a surgical procedure performed to realign and stabilize broken bones, allowing them to heal properly. Fractures can occur due to various reasons such as trauma, sports injuries, or weakened bones. The surgery involves aligning the fractured bone fragments, securing them in place with screws, plates, rods, or external fixation devices, and providing support for optimal healing. Fracture repair aims to restore the bone’s integrity, promote bone union, relieve pain, and restore functionality to the affected area. The specific approach and techniques used depend on the type, location, and severity of the fracture.
5. ACL reconstruction:
The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee can tear due to sports injuries or trauma. ACL reconstruction surgery involves replacing the torn ligament with a graft, typically sourced from the patient’s own tissue or a donor. ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure performed to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee. The ACL is a crucial ligament that provides stability to the knee joint. ACL tears often occur during sports or activities involving sudden stops, changes in direction, or direct impact. The surgery involves replacing the torn ACL with a graft, typically sourced from the patient’s own tissue (autograft) or a donor (allograft). ACL reconstruction aims to restore knee stability, improve function, and reduce the risk of future knee instability and associated complications. The procedure may be performed arthroscopically, using small incisions and specialized instruments, for a minimally invasive approach.
6. Rotator cuff repair:
The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Surgery may be required to repair a torn rotator cuff, often through arthroscopic techniques or open surgery. Rotator cuff repair is a surgical procedure performed to address a torn rotator cuff, which is a group of tendons and muscles that stabilize the shoulder joint. Rotator cuff tears can occur due to acute injury or degenerative changes over time. The surgery involves reattaching the torn tendon to the humerus (upper arm bone) using sutures and anchors. The goal of rotator cuff repair is to relieve pain, restore shoulder function, and improve the stability and strength of the shoulder joint. The procedure can be performed using arthroscopic techniques, which involve small incisions and specialized instruments for minimal tissue disruption and quicker recovery.
7. Carpal tunnel release:
Carpal tunnel release is a surgical procedure performed to relieve the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when the median nerve in the wrist becomes compressed, leading to symptoms such as pain, numbness, and tingling in the hand and fingers. The surgery involves cutting the transverse carpal ligament, which forms the roof of the carpal tunnel, to reduce pressure on the median nerve. Carpal tunnel release aims to alleviate pain, improve hand function, and restore normal sensation. The procedure can be performed through traditional open surgery or minimally invasive techniques such as endoscopic or arthroscopic approaches.
8. Meniscus repair or removal:
Meniscus repair or removal is a surgical procedure performed to address a torn meniscus in the knee. The meniscus is a C-shaped cartilage that acts as a shock absorber and provides stability to the knee joint. Meniscus tears commonly occur due to sports injuries or degenerative changes. The surgical approach depends on the type, size, and location of the tear. In some cases, the torn portion of the meniscus can be repaired using sutures to promote healing. In other cases, if the tear is severe or located in an area with poor blood supply, a partial or complete removal of the damaged meniscus may be necessary. The goal of the procedure is to alleviate pain, improve knee function, and prevent further damage to the joint.
Orthopedic surgeries play a crucial role in improving the quality of life for individuals with musculoskeletal conditions and injuries. While the eight surgeries mentioned above are among the most common, it’s important to remember that each patient’s situation is unique, and treatment plans should be tailored to their specific needs. Advances in technology and surgical techniques continue to enhance the effectiveness and safety of orthopedic procedures. If you or someone you know is experiencing musculoskeletal issues,