An orthopaedic surgeon is a medical doctor who has received up to 14 years of education in the diagnosis, treatment, rehabilitation, and prevention of injuries and diseases of the musculoskeletal system (bones and joints, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and cartilage).
Some orthopaedic surgeons practice general orthopaedics, while others specialize in treating certain body parts such as the foot and ankle, hand and wrist, spine, knee, shoulder, or hip. Some orthopaedists may also focus on a specific population such as pediatrics, trauma, or sports medicine.
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Your surgeon, hospitalist, and anesthesiologist will determine what medications you should stop taking before surgery, when they should be stopped, and when you can resume taking them after surgery.
Generally, we recommend discontinuing NSAIDs such as ibuprofen and meloxicam, and blood thinners such as aspirin 5 days prior to your surgery.
Make sure to confirm these instructions with your provider as you may have more specific needs.
Someone from the surgery center or hospital will call you to discuss pre-operative instructions. They usually include the following:
The time can vary depending on materials, availability of staff, and other factors. Our staff or the hospital scheduler will notify you when to arrive.
The safe bet is to block off your day as preparation for surgery and recovery time can take some time as well as the surgery.
There are four types of anesthesia. Most commonly, general anesthesia is used. While, we also offer some procedures with local, regional and monitored anesthesia. Some surgeries require only one type but other surgeries utilize multiple types to prevent pain and feeling. The type of anesthesia you will receive is influenced by many factors including the type of surgery, the length of surgery, your health and medical conditions, medications you take, and the recommendation of the surgeon.
With general anesthesia, you are completely asleep and unconscious without being able to feel anything.
Local anesthesia is given with an injection, while you are awake. The surgeon will administer the injection before the surgery begins. Then the provider will test the area to ensure you do not have feeling. This is used for minor surgeries without the need for anesthesiology providers.
Regional anesthesia is performed by a trained anesthesiologist. They target a large nerve to provide numbness to a large body area. Often, this type of anesthesia is called a “nerve block.” The most common types are spinal, epidural, or peripheral. Some surgeries utilize this type with general anesthesia or can be done while you remain awake.
If you are sedated during regional anesthesia, then you receive monitored anesthesia care, also known as MAC sedation or twilight sleep. Monitored anesthesia care involves the administration of drugs to produce sedation and analgesia (insensibility to pain without loss of consciousness). In addition, your surgeon will administer local anesthesia to the operative site.
You will meet with your anesthesiologist prior to surgery and will have an opportunity to discuss your anesthesia options. Your anesthesiologist will inform you of the advantages, side effects, and possible complications of each. Depending upon the factors above, you may be able to participate in the decision-making and choose which method you prefer.
The length of surgery depends on the procedure being performed, the surgeon, and the method of surgery.
Small surgeries may last as little as ten minutes, while more extensive surgeries can last hours. Ask your provider how long the surgery is expected to last.
The safe bet is to block off your day, as you will need time to recover from surgery.
You will be taken to the recovery room and monitored for a period of time. Then you may be discharged in outpatient surgeries or you may need to recover in a hospital room for the night or for a longer period of time.
If your operation was in a surgery center, a nurse will review post-operative home care instructions with you. She will explain any special instructions provided by your surgeon regarding diet, rest, medications, when to follow up with your doctor, and how to use any durable medical equipment such as a sling or crutches that is needed.
When you follow up with your doctor, he or she will discuss additional post-operative instructions such as rehabilitation, when stitches may be removed, when you can drive or return to work or school, how long you should use crutches or a sling, how long you should take pain medications, and more.
The time you spend in the hospital or surgery center will vary depending upon the type of surgery performed, the type of anesthesia that was given, and your individual needs.
Outpatient surgeries require less time in our care. Typically, patients are discharged within one to three hours following the end of the surgery.
Most patients will not encounter problems after orthopaedic surgery. As with any surgery, however, there are potential risks, including:
Arthroscopic surgery is one of the most common orthopaedic procedures performed today. Through the use of small instruments and cameras, an orthoapedic surgeon can visualize, diagnose, and treat problems within the joints.
One or more small incisions are made around the joint to be viewed. The surgeon inserts an instrument called an arthroscope into the joint. The arthroscope contains a fiber optic light source and a small television camera that allows the surgeon to view the joint on a television monitor and diagnose the problem, determine the extent of injury, and make any necessary repairs.
Other instruments may be inserted to help view or repair the tissues inside the joint.
Joint replacement surgery is performed to replace an arthritic or damaged joint with a new, artificial joint called a prosthesis. The knee and hip are the most commonly replaced joints, although shoulders, elbows and ankles can also be replaced.
Joints contain cartilage, a rubbery material that cushions the ends of bones and facilitates movement. Over time, or if the joint has been injured, the cartilage wears away and the bones of the joint start rubbing together. As bones rub together, bone spurs may form and the joint becomes stiff and painful.
Most people have joint replacement surgery when they can no longer control the pain in their hip or knee with medication and other treatments, and the pain is significantly interfering with their lives.
On average, artificial joints have a lifespan of 10 to 20 years. If you are in your 40s or 50s when you have joint replacement surgery, especially if you are very active, you are likely to need another joint replacement surgery later in life.
Shoulder surgery for rotator cuff problems usually involves one or more of the following procedures: debridement, subacromial decompression, rotator cuff repair.
Debridement clears damaged tissue out of the shoulder joint.
Subacromial decompression involves shaving bone or removing spurs underneath the tip of the shoulder blade (acromion). This creates more room in the space between the end of the shoulder blade and the upper arm bone so that the rotator cuff tendon is not pinched and can glide smoothly.
If the rotator cuff tendon is torn, it is sewn together and reattached to the top of the upper arm bone.
ACL reconstruction is a surgical procedure that repairs a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), one of the four ligaments that help stabilize the knee. The ligament is reconstructed using a tendon that is passed through the inside of the knee joint and secured to the upper leg bone (femur) and one of the two lower leg bones (tibia).
The tendon used for reconstruction is called a graft and can come from different sources. It is usually taken from the patient’s own patella, hamstring, or quadriceps, or it can come from a cadaver. ACL reconstruction is most often performed through arthroscopic surgery.
St. Thomas Medical Center
600 West 13th St. | Suite 200
Jasper, IN 47546
Toll Free: (800) 499-7044
Phone: (812) 482-7441
Fax: (812) 482-7444
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Friday - 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday - Closed
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