If you have a torn tendon or rotator cuff injury, surgical repair may be necessary, but the more invasive the surgery, the longer and more difficult your recovery period could be. Brent J. Morris, MD, of Lexington, KY, offers minimally invasive surgery to qualifying patients with such injuries. To learn more about this option, contact Dr. Morris’ office by calling to book an appointment.
Traditional open surgery, while effective, is costly in terms of collateral damage and downtime. In traditional surgery, large incisions are made to expose the injured area, allowing doctors clear vision and room to operate. Thanks to advances in technology, Dr. Morris is now able to use remote imaging and precision robotic equipment to accomplish many of the same repairs, without causing extensive damage to surrounding tissue.
Minimally invasive surgery, which is also known as arthroscopy, requires smaller incisions — they only need to be large enough to accommodate the small instruments. As a result, you don’t run the same risks of infection as you do in open surgery, and the downtime is considerably reduced because the surgical area heals more quickly.
Not every repair lends itself to minimally invasive surgery. For example, very large or multiple tears to your tendons may require open surgery, while smaller tendon tears make ideal candidates for arthroscopic procedures. To determine which surgery is right for your case, Dr. Morris evaluates the injury thoroughly using imaging scans and a review of your medical history. From there, Dr. Morris makes a determination based on achieving the most successful outcome while also meeting your goals.
Whether you have a torn rotator cuff or a severe case of tennis elbow, Dr. Morris generally prefers to go the minimally invasive route when possible, but some cases may require more aggressive open surgery to achieve the best results.
Even though minimally invasive surgeries carry fewer risks than open procedures, complications are still possible. If you have minimally invasive surgery on your shoulder, for example, you must still be placed under anesthesia, which carries its own risks. And while the incisions are smaller in arthroscopic surgery, they are still vulnerable to bleeding and infection.
In some cases, Dr. Morris may be unable to repair the injury with minimally invasive surgery, so he may have to switch to open surgery during the procedure. If that happens, your recovery period is longer and your expenses may increase as well.
Recovering from minimally invasive surgery doesn’t take as long as recovering from an open surgery, but you still have some downtime after the procedure, and you still need physical therapy to regain the full function of the injured area in most cases. Be sure to follow all of your postoperative instructions to encourage a faster recovery.