Musculoskeletal Surgery: A Viable Treatment Option
Surgical procedures are used to manage, improve and treat a variety of health conditions or diseases. Surgical treatment of congenital and acquired disorders, as well as injuries of the musculoskeletal system is categorically referred to as Musculoskeletal Surgery. As the name suggests, this type of surgery deals with the systems that include bones, tendons, cartilages, ligaments, joints and muscles. Muscular and skeletal systems in our body are responsible for our posture, gait, mobility and movement of the body. As a result of some health conditions these functions can be hampered and this is when Musculoskeletal Surgery can be a viable treatment option.
Who Needs Musculoskeletal Surgery?
Musculoskeletal Surgery is considered an appropriate treatment for the below conditions:
Injury: Sports injury and injuries caused by accidents can cause dislocated bones and fractures, where the recovery may benefit from or require Musculoskeletal Surgery.
Degenerative diseases: This is a very common problem, especially amongst elderly patients. Degenerative diseases include arthritis (both osteoarthritis and rheumatoid) and osteoporosis. Another less commonly known disease is herniated intervertebral disk, where vertebrae cause a pinch-like sensation that result in restricted mobility and severe pain.
Musculoskeletal Cancer: Tumors are formed in the organ system, and they keep growing aggressively. If not treated on time, they may result in amputation of the limb or fatal metastasis. Removal of tumor on time through Musculoskeletal Surgery can save a limb and sometimes even life.
Musculoskeletal Disorders: Health conditions like carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis, and tendinitis come under the category of musculoskeletal disorders. Spending prolonged periods with poor posture, doing heavy work in the same or carrying heavy loads cause these disorders. People most susceptible to this are sportspersons.
Infections: Sometimes patients’ bones are invaded by fungal and/or bacterial infections. Osteomyelitis is the medical term for these infections. While in adults, it is the spine and feet that are affected, with younger patients the longer bones like those in the arms and legs can become infected. If timely action is not taken, patients can suffer irreparable damage to the bones and permanent effects to the body’s movements. Symptoms of osteomyelitis include inflammation area, fever, stiff limbs etc.
What are the Common Procedures?
Hip replacement, knee replacement, carpal tunnel surgery, ankle fracture repair, and rotator cuff tendon repair are some of the common Musculoskeletal Surgeries. General or local anesthesia is deemed appropriate dependent on the type of injury.
Associated Risks and Complications:
A surgery whether it is major or minor, always involves a certain degree of risk. These can typically include:
- Reaction to the anesthesia, which is often unpredictable especially when it is the first surgery a patient has undergone
- Osteomyelitis through surgery site or even cross infection due to a stay in hospital
- Blood clots and excessive bleeding
- Restricted movement
- Nerve damage
These are the risks that can result from all surgical procedures, be it C-section, cataract operation or Musculoskeletal Surgery. It is important for a patient to remember that a physician refers for surgery only when it is needed and conservative measures have been exhausted.