Arthroscopic Surgery for Knees & Shoulders

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive joint surgery designed to repair a damaged joint, maximize its function, and preserve its lifespan as long as possible. This type of surgery is most commonly performed on knees and shoulders. An arthroscopic surgical procedure is typically performed using small (~1cm) incisions around the joint. The nature of this procedure allows it to be done as an outpatient/same-day surgery and does not require an overnight stay in the hospital. Benefits of arthroscopic surgery include:

  • less pain
  • minimal scarring (improved cosmesis)
  • less stiffness
  • earlier rehabilitation
  • minimal blood loss
  • the ability to obtain the most anatomic repair possible

This combination of attributes is what allows athletes to return to their sport quickly and makes the procedure appealing to people who are looking to get back to work or their hobbies without pain as quickly as possible. Dr. Milam underwent additional fellowship training in arthroscopic surgery and has extensive clinical experience in shoulder and knee arthroscopy, as this has been the primary focus of his practice since 2007.

Rotator Cuff Repair

Rotator cuff tears are an extremely common shoulder injury that can result in debilitating pain and weakness. Traditionally, these injuries were treated with a large incision, and the procedure involved detaching a portion of the deltoid (one of the large shoulder muscles). This often resulted in substantial pain and a prolonged rehabilitation process. Arthroscopic rotator cuff repair allows this surgery to be done with 1cm incisions and does not require detaching any muscles. In addition to less post-operative pain and minimal scarring with arthroscopic repair, the rehabilitation process can be started earlier since no muscles are detached, which leads to less post-op stiffness and an earlier return to function for most patients. When this process is combined with a customized post-operative rehabilitation regimen, we at Whole Health believe that this tailored approach leads to consistently superior outcomes for our patients.

Shoulder Impingement Syndrome

Impingement syndrome of the shoulder often coexists with other shoulder pathology, but can occur on its own from time to time. This condition is typically due to bone spurs that cause recurring bursitis and tendinitis of the rotator cuff. Arthroscopic surgery is an excellent way to treat this condition and allows a fast recovery as the rehabilitation process can start right away in many instances.

Meniscus Tear (Knee)

Meniscus tears are one of the most common orthopedic injuries in the United States. These often occur as a result of mild to moderate arthritis, as well as injury. A meniscus tear not only causes pain, but will also frequently cause mechanical symptoms in the knee such as locking, buckling, or giving way. Arthroscopic surgery to address the torn meniscus is a quick and minimally invasive way to help eliminate these mechanical symptoms when the arthritis is not too severe. This is an outpatient surgery with minimal downtime and does not require the use of crutches outside of rare circumstances. Most patients are able to rehabilitate these issues on their own and do not require formal physical therapy.

Shoulder Labrum & SLAP Lesion Repair

Injuries to the shoulder labrum are also very common. The ability to treat these arthroscopically has tremendous advantages over the traditional open procedure for several reasons, the most prominent being that one of the rotator cuff muscles often had to be detached and then repaired at the end of the surgery just to get to the part that needed repair. This added significant risk to the procedure and also prolonged the recovery process. A substantial benefit to arthroscopic repair of these injuries is the ability to repair these as anatomically as possible, which restores stability to the shoulder while allowing the greatest possible range of motion to remain. As with rotator cuff injuries, the post-operative rehabilitation process is critical to obtaining the best possible outcome and Whole Health will also customize each patient’s rehabilitation regimen based on their specific situation.

Shoulder Replacements

Although shoulder joint replacement is less common than knee or hip replacement, it is just as successful in relieving joint pain. There are several conditions that can cause shoulder pain and disability; if you are suffering from any of the following, you may want to consider a same-day shoulder joint replacement:

  • Osteoarthritis (Degenerative Joint Disease)
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Post-traumatic Arthritis
  • Rotator Cuff Tear Arthropathy
  • Avascular Necrosis (Osteonecrosis)
  • Severe Fractures

The decision to have shoulder replacement surgery should be a cooperative one between you, your family, and your orthopedic surgeon. The Whole Health Joint Replacement Institute will evaluate and review whether same day shoulder joint replacement is the best solution for you. We will also discuss alternative treatment options, including lifestyle changes you can make that would supplement any potential procedures. At Whole Health, we believe in educating our patients so they know what kind of habits can assist in a quick and successful recovery.

Man holding his shoulder

Potential Risks & Complications for Joint Replacement Surgeries

Being prepared for hip, knee, or shoulder replacement requires physical, mental, and emotional readiness. Although pain after surgery is an anticipated reality, it’s important to keep in mind that this is surgical pain/soreness; it is temporary and should resolve with time. Patients may also experience:

  • Swelling
  • Stiffness
  • Nausea / Vomiting
  • Difficulty Sleeping
  • Bruising
  • Frustration
  • Fatigue
  • Lightheadedness / Dizziness

Today, physicians and other clinicians have gotten very good at anticipating this pain and treating it before it even occurs. Whole Health utilizes a state-of-the-art pain protocol to keep patients feeling better than before.

With all joint replacements, it is necessary to understand the potential risks as they are part of the informed consent process. Some of these complications may include:

  • Infection
  • Blood clot
  • Numbness
  • Damage to muscles, tendons, ligaments & nerves
  • Clicking / popping
  • Failure of procedure
  • Need for revision surgery
  • Implant wear/failure
  • Reactions to medications or anesthesia
  • Death

The Whole Health Joint Replacement Institute is here to keep you from becoming overwhelmed by these risks. Feel free to contact us today with any additional questions you may have.

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Testimonials

This medical procedure and related activity was, by far, the absolute best I have encountered!  I am without reservation, 100% satisfied with my surgical outcome and will return for my other knee.  Thank you to all staff involved.

Walter K.

Everyone was pleasant and professional.  They were concerned about pain level and were accommodating.  Pleased with the results of my new knees!

Jane Z.

Thank you to Dr. Molli and his staff for repairing my knees.  I finally feel a light at the end of the tunnel is in my near future.  The only mistake I made was not coming to Whole Health first.

Andrew S.

Dr. Molli and the entire staff were exceptional.  Recovery is going great because of the education provided prior to surgery.  I am the third member of my family to have either a hip or knee replacement and we are all believers in the methods used at Whole Health.

David C.

Wonderful experience!  I have told many people how amazing the people are at Whole Health.  Very happy with my partial knee replacement!

Maureen K.

Dr. Molli is a miracle worker!  My hip surgery done by his technique was incredibly low pain.  Wish I would have done it a year sooner.  I feel amazing!

Bonnie Y.

Had hip replacement surgery today… back home and feeling great. Very grateful to have someone of this caliber in Crawford County. From the check in person to Dr. Molli I cannot thank you all enough for your excellent care!

Donald

Dr. Frndak is an amazing surgeon, caring, and devoted to his patients. My first experience with him was in 1994, when, as a new surgeon, he re-replaced my total knee , and most recently, in October of 2019, when he replaced my husband’s hip. I have the utmost faith in him and his skills, and can’t recommend him enough.

Sandy

My father had a wonderful experience with Dr. Molli and staff! He came out of surgery and was very grateful for how well he was cared for and respected as a patient!! Highly recommend this team!! Thank you for all you do for our community!

Ashley

My dad went in December 30 for a total knee replacement. February 14th he turned 85 and is back at full movement and extremely happy with the results. Thank you Dr. Molli and your staff for a job well done and helping to keep our dad active.

Scott