Orthopedic Surgery: Repair & Reconstruction
What is orthopedic surgery to repair and reconstruct?
Orthopedic surgery is performed on the musculoskeletal system. This includes bones, joints, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, tendons, nerves and connective tissue that binds parts of the body together. Orthopedic surgeries fall into two overall categories: surgeries to repair and reconstruct musculoskeletal elements, and surgeries to replace parts of that system, most notably joints.
A musculoskeletal problem in any part of the body can have an enormous impact on a person’s day-to-day activities. Correcting such problems can involve a range of treatment options. A common treatment for many orthopedic injuries and conditions is the repair or reconstruction of the injured body part with surgery.
Surgical repair or reconstruction of a joint, bone, muscle, cartilage, nerve or ligament can be completed by one of the following procedures:
- Fusion – a welding process fuses bones together with bone grafts and internal devices such as metal rods to heal into a solid bone.
- Internal fixation – this procedure uses metal plates, screws or pins to hold broken pieces in place while a bone is healing.
- Osteotomy – corrects bone deformity by cutting and repositioning the bone. This can correct bones that were healed improperly after a trauma or, in some cases, help delay total joint replacement.
- Soft tissue repair – mends soft tissue, such as a torn tendon or ligament, or a stretched nerve.
- Arthroscopy – in this form of soft tissue repair a surgeon use special equipment and a camera to evaluate, diagnose the specific condition and treat a problem inside a joint, such as cartilage damage or an ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) repair in the knee.
Areas that can require repair and reconstruction surgeries
At Muir Orthopaedic Specialists (MOS) our surgeons focus on orthopedic repair and reconstruction surgeries for the whole musculoskeletal system, from repairing complex bone fractures to reconstructing damaged nerves.
Once a patient’s condition or injury has been diagnosed, an orthopedic specialist will discuss all treatment options. Depending on the severity of the condition and the patient’s individual situation, these can include medicine, rehabilitation, nonsurgical injections and procedures, immobilization and surgery.
Orthopedic surgeries can address and correct problems that occur at birth, through injury or as a result of aging. Depending on the type of surgery, it may be performed under general or local anesthetics.
Areas of repair and reconstruction surgeries:
- Spine, back and neck, including herniated discs, spinal curvature and slipped vertebra
- Foot and ankle, including ankle fusion and repair of ligaments, muscles and tendons
- Knee – repair of torn ligaments, cartilage and bone fracture
- Hip – repair of fractures, impingement, cartilage tears
- Shoulder – rotator cuff repair, impingement, frozen shoulder
- Elbow – fractures, cubital tunnel syndrome
- Hand, finger and wrist – crushed nerves, Dupuytren’s contracture, broken bones
See an MOS surgeon for repair and reconstruction orthopedic surgery
Knowing that a surgery will give relief from pain and disability can be comforting. But the surgery can also cause anxiety and concerns. Our board-certified physicians specialize in the different areas of musculoskeletal problems and acquire considerable experience performing specific orthopedic surgical repairs and reconstructions. This allows patients to relax, knowing they are in the hands of an experienced orthopedic surgeon.
The surgeons at MOS utilize minimally invasive surgeries whenever possible. This surgery method allows our patients to have a faster recovery time, better outcomes and reduced chance of post-surgery complications.
Many nonemergency surgeries are done at the MOS care center in the Sequoia Surgical Pavilion. This 46,000-square-foot center includes virtually every orthopedic service a patient would need, including our outpatient surgery facility, imaging center and rehabilitation center.
The Sequoia Surgical Pavilion has four operating rooms equipped with the latest technology and surgical instrumentation. More than 40 highly skilled nurses are available around the clock in the Pavilion to provide patients individualized care.
For emergency cases our surgeons have privileges at John Muir Medical Center, Walnut Creek. This partnership with the hospital results in the highest level of care, no matter how complex the patient’s orthopedic needs.
What to expect after orthopedic surgery for repair or reconstruction
After orthopedic surgery a patient can expect not to be able to use the body part that was operated on for a while. But after a short recovery period each patient will discuss with the care team the plan for physical therapy.
Physical therapy is an essential follow-up to the surgery in returning the patient to normal activities in the affected body part. Injury specifics and treatments used can require a different type and length of physical therapy. Since each post-operative treatment and recovery plan is specific to the surgery and patient, our surgeons will make sure every patient understands the follow-up care prior to receiving treatment.
Possible risks of orthopedic surgery
As with any surgery, orthopedic surgeries for repair and reconstruction come with a risk of infection, excessive bleeding, allergic reactions to anesthesia, pain and other complications. Prior to any surgery the surgeon will discuss with the patient the specific risks associated with the repair or reconstruction surgery being considered.