Arthroscopy – Not Just to Get a Better Look!

Arthroscopy – Not Just to Get a Better Look!

Most have probably heard the term arthroscopy, even if we aren’t exactly sure what it means. Arthroscopy, like much of medical terminology, comes from the Greek language; Arthro- means joint and -scopy is the act of viewing with a camera or lens.

During arthroscopy, one or more small incisions are made around the joint and a camera is inserted, as well as a variety of tiny surgical instruments. This allows Dr. Irvine to not only diagnose problems by looking around inside the joint with a camera, but he can also treat problems, using burrs, drills, rasps and other surgical instruments to remove and reshape bone, release caught tendons and clean out broken pieces of cartilage.

Why arthroscopy instead of open surgical procedures? Since arthroscopic procedures utilize much smaller surgical incisions, there is much less soft tissue to heal, meaning less pain and a quicker recovery time.

What joints can be treated arthroscopically? While most joints can be viewed arthroscopically, some of the most common candidates for arthroscopic examination and treatment include the knees, hips, shoulders and wrists. Many spinal procedures are now performed arthroscopically, as well as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) conditions.

What conditions can be treated arthroscopically? Here at Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine, we are using state-of-the-art arthroscopic treatment for many conditions. Evaluation and some treatments can be done arthroscopically for shoulder disease, hip conditions, knee pain and injuries and more.

Procedures like total knee replacements and other more involved surgeries requiring large hardware or prostheses cannot be performed arthroscopically.

To find out more about arthroscopy and all of the orthopedic services we have to offer, please contact us. There’s no need to put up with the pain and limitations any longer!

Understanding Elbow Arthroscopy

The elbow joint consists of three bones: the humerus bone of the upper arm, and the ulna and radius bones of the forearm. The ulna and the humerus meet at the elbow and form a hinge, allowing the arm to straighten and bend. Life without this ability would be difficult, indeed.

Thanks to elbow arthroscopy, conditions inhibiting the normal use of the elbow can be treated, relieving pain and enabling one to freely use their elbow again.

What is elbow arthroscopy?

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Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows surgeons to inspect, diagnose, and repair problems such as releasing scar tissue to improve range of motion, removing loose cartilage and bone fragments, repair lesions, among others.

Common procedures include:

  • Removing loose fragments in the joint
  • Repairing fractures
  • Treatment of tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)
  • Treatment of osteoarthritis (arthritis that causes wear and tear)
  • Treatment of rheumatoid arthritis (inflammatory arthritis)
  • Treatment of elbow stiffness often caused by fractures and other injuries

How is elbow arthroscopy performed?

Under general or regional anesthesia, a fiber-optic camera is inserted through a cut the width of a pencil in the elbow, magnifying and projecting the structures of the elbow on a television screen. This allows the surgeon to diagnose the condition. Several other small cuts allow insertion of additional instruments into the joint for treatment.

Recovery and rehabilitation.

Arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure; expect to return home with a bandage over your incisions, your arm possibly placed in a splint to keep it still and instructions to put ice on it and elevate it regularly for the next couple of days. You more than likely will be given instructions for certain exercises to perform to build strength and increase movement and may even need physical therapy to complete the rehabilitation process. While recovery from elbow arthroscopy is often faster than that of open surgery, expect it to take several weeks for your joint to completely recover.

For more information on elbow arthroscopy and how we can help, contact Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine.

Hip Arthroscopy: A Minimally Invasive Option


The hip-joint is one of the most amazing and important joints of the body. A ball and socket joint, it is one of the most flexible, providing a level of mobility that allows the femur to rotate freely through a 360-degree circle and is capable of supporting half of the body’s weight along with any other forces acting upon the body.

Estimable as it may be, like any other part of the body, the hip-joint is capable of suffering several painful conditions due to falls or repetitive use that is common in athletes. The normal wear and tear that comes with age plays its part as well and can lead to arthritis or tears of tendons and ligaments.

Non-surgical treatments that include rest, physical therapy and injections to reduce inflammation can help but some injuries and even diseases demand a more aggressive approach. Bone spurs around the socket; dysplasia and snapping hip syndrome are a few of the conditions that may fall into this category.

In cases like these, your doctor may recommend hip arthroscopy, a procedure where your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your hip-joint. The camera then displays pictures on a screen, allowing the doctor to use these images to guide miniature surgical instruments to the affected area.

Hip arthroscopy is generally performed under general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis.

Recovery will likely include crutches for a specified amount of time, as well as physical therapy to help restore strength and mobility.

For more information on how we can help, contact us

Turf Toe

You may be wondering what is turf toe, and do you have it? Turf toe is an injury of the soft tissue  structure in the plantar complex of your foot; or better explained in simplest terms as a sprain and pain in your big toe due to hyper-extension such as pushing off into a sprint.

Turf Toe Symptoms, Missouri Orthopedic Care Saint Louis, Orthopedic Doctor in Missouri

Most often, this is found in athletes who are pushing off their toes causing your big tor to hyper-extend.  Similar to other injuries that can occur to the body, there is a range of severity when it comes to turf toe and how it can effect you and the sports you play. These mild to severe injuries include:

Level 1 – This is the mildest pain you may feel with surf toe. You may experience tenderness and slight swelling.

Level 2 – This level is selected when there is a partial tear present causing more tenderness than level 1, and more swelling and may include bruising. Moving your toe(s) can be very limited and painful.

Level 3 – A complete tear has occurred leaving you with severe tenderness, swelling and bruising. It is almost too difficult to even more your big toe(s).

If you believe you are experiencing turf toe, seek medical advice and treatment from Dr. Irvine who specializes in foot and ankle injuries. You can call 314-567-5850 to schedule your appointment.

Get your balance back – in diet!

When it comes to playing & participating in sports like track and field, baseball, football and really any everyday activity, many people struggle with choosing the fulfilling foods right for fueling your body. Following the simple guidelines below will help you & your body live a healthier lifestyle and grant more energy!

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1) A balanced diet the key: A balanced diet is low in fat, high in carbs and just the right amount of protein. You may have heard of some athletes doing a “carb heavy” the day before an important event; however you should know that while carbs are important for energy, doing a carb heavy diet may leave you feeling weighed down and even tired. As always, it is important to make sure your intake includes enough proteins, nutrients and vitamins. And, always hydrate with water!

2) Breakfast is your friend: No matter how much you want to skip your breakfast, don’t! It is the most important meal of the day and helps jump start your metabolism and replenish your body from it’s sleeping phase overnight. Skipping breakfast has the potential to make you nauseous or tired, however eating too much at breakfast can weigh you down and make you feel sick. So, where is the give and take right? Eat a cup of greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit and walk out the door!

3) Ditch the energy drinks: Monster & 5 hour energy drinks might be tasty going down, however drinking these to give you an extra boost before your event or game can actually damage your body as it affects your heart rate. To stay hydrated the day of the game or event, make sure to drink enough water the day of, however be sure to cut yourself off about an hour or half hour before the start of the game/event. Looking for energy? How about grabbing a bottle of powerade to replenish the lost electrolytes or nom on a banana which is full of natural carbs.