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Arkansas Razorbacks"

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Conditions & Treatments


Knee/ACL Reconstruction

A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is one of the most common knee injuries. An injury to this ligament causes the knee to become unstable and the joint to slide forward too much. ACL tears occur most often in athletes.

ACL reconstruction is usually not performed until several weeks after the injury, when swelling and inflammation have been reduced. The torn ligament is completely removed and replaced with a new ACL. Simply reconnecting the torn ends will not repair the ACL. Part of another ligament, usually in the knee or hamstring is used to create a graft for the new ACL. Choosing the proper type of graft depends on each patient's individual condition.

ACL surgery requires a few months for full recovery and physical rehabilitation will be needed as well. Surgery is not required for all ACL injuries. Talk to our doctor to discuss if it is the right option for you.

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Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and sometimes treat joint injuries and disease through small incisions in the skin. It is often performed to confirm a diagnosis made after a physical examination and other imaging tests such as MRI, CT or X-rays.

During an arthroscopic procedure, a thin fiberoptic light, magnifying lens and tiny television camera are inserted into the problem area, allowing the doctor to examine the joint in great detail.

For some patients it is then possible to treat the problem using this approach or with a combination of arthroscopic and “open” surgery. Sports injuries are often repairable with arthroscopy. Tendon tears in the knee are frequently repaired in this way. Other potentially treatable injuries include torn cartilage or ligaments, inflamed joint lining, carpal tunnel syndrome, rotator cuff tears, and loose bone or cartilage.

Because it is minimally invasive, arthroscopy offers many benefits to the patient over traditional surgery:

  • No cutting of muscles or tendons
  • Less bleeding during surgery
  • Less scarring
  • Smaller incisions
  • Faster recovery and return to regular activities
  • Faster and more comfortable rehabilitation

Arthroscopy is not appropriate for every patient. Dr. Sites will discuss the options that are best for you.

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Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repair

The rotator cuff is a group of tendons and muscles that support the shoulder joint and allow for complete movement while keeping the ball of the arm bone in the shoulder socket. These tendons and muscles may become torn or otherwise damaged from injury or overuse and can lead to pain, weakness and inflammation. Surgery may be used to treat this often serious condition.

Rotator cuff surgery may be performed laparoscopically or through an open procedure, depending on the type and severity of the condition. Both procedures are performed under general anesthesia and aim to reattach the tendon back to the arm, along with removing any loose fragments from the shoulder area.

Rotator cuff repair surgery is usually successful in relieving shoulder pain, although full strength cannot always be restored. Recovery time depends on the type of surgery, but can take several months. As with any surgery, there are certain risks involved with rotator cuff repair such as infection, pain or stiffness, nerve damage or the need for repeated surgery. These complications are rare and most people receive successful outcomes from this procedure.

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Cartilage Repair Surgery

Cartilage is the smooth coating on the end of the bones that provides cushioning and support for comfortable, fluid movement. Cartilage damage occurs as a result of injury or degeneration and can lead to severe pain and arthritis. The cartilage eventually wears away and leaves the bone unprotected. Fortunately, there are now several techniques used to repair damaged cartilage and restore normal movement.

Cartilage repair is a relatively new field and long-term results are still not proven. These procedures aim to restore movement with the best possible tissue and to prevent further cartilage damage. Two common procedures used in cartilage repair include:

Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation - This procedure takes a sample of healthy cartilage and multiplies it in large quantities outside the body before being implanted back onto the bone. This newly grown cartilage coats the bone and provides regained support.

Osteochondral Autograft Transplant (OATS) - This procedure takes healthy cartilage from another area of the bone that does not bear weight and transplants it to the damaged, weight-bearing area. This is used for smaller defects and involves filling holes with small transplant materials.

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