As people are living longer, the demand for medical services is going up especially in the orthopedic field. As the world has become increasingly more fast-paced, the types of injuries to the bones has become more acute requiring metal plates and screws to be installed to stabilize broken bones.
There are many diagnostic tests which are used to help the doctor decide on what treatment is necessary. Checkout FUNtastic Pediatric Dental for more info.
Arthroscopy – The physician may view the problem area with arthroscopy wherein a camera is inserted into the body through an incision so the doctor and see the damage. Because this is surgical in nature, the doctor will use other means initially to view the problem area.
Myelogram – This test evaluates the abnormalities in the spinal cord, nerve roots and other tissues. A radiologist will inject dye into the spine. Xrays or a CT Scan will then be performed. The dye causes the tissues to be visible.
MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging pulses radio wave energy through the body in a magnetic field. While an x-ray and CT scan are more sensitive to bone, an MRI is more sensitive to soft tissue.
X-ray or CT Scan – For injuries primarily to the bone where soft tissues are not an area of concern, the doctor can order one of these tests which is sensitive to bone. These tests help the doctor decide on a surgical plan before opening the patient.
Arthroscopic Surgery – In arthroscopic surgery, the orthopedic surgeon will make two small incisions through which he will pass a camera and repair tools. Recovery time is quite rapid compared to a surgery that requires a large incision.
Joint Replacement – In a joint replacement, a 3 to 12 inch incision is made and a plastic, metal or ceramic joint is fixed to the remaining bone and held in place with cement or screws. A hospital stay after a joint replacement is from 3 to 5 days and recovery takes about one month; although, the patient should experience immediate relief.
Laminectomy – A laminectomy is the fusion of two vertebrae and the insertion of two or more screws to stabilize the spinal column. A laminectomy is necessary when the discs have shrunk and bulged causing one of the vertebrae to slip out of line. Even though the patient may immediately start feeling relief after the surgery, the recovery time is much longer than with other remedies. The orthopedic doctor may prescribe exercises and physical therapy to start, and if that is not effective, he may prescribe steroid injections into the spine for a year before performing a laminectomy.
Disectomy – A falling injury or age or both can cause the disc material between the vertebrae to bulge and press on the nerves of the spine. Orthopedic surgeons used to remove the entire disc, harvest bone from the hip or thigh and replace the disc with bone. This would solve the problem but also decrease range of motion. Modern advancements have allowed surgeons to remove just the part of the disc that is impinging on the nerve and it is a minimally invasive surgery from which recovery is rapid. The complete removal of the disc is the last resort.