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Hip Replacement Surgery
Hip Replacement Surgery (Total Hip Arthroplasty, Hip Arthroplasty, Total Hip Replacement, Hip Replacement) Procedure overview What is a hip replacement surgery? Hip replacement, also called total hip arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to replace a worn out or damaged hip with a prosthesis (an artificial joint). This surgery may be considered following a hip fracture (breaking of the bone) or for someone who has severe pain due to arthritis. Various types of arthritis may affect the hip joint. Osteoar...
Epidural Corticosteroid Injections
Epidural Corticosteroid Injections (Epidural steroid injections) Procedure overview In the simplest of terms, an epidural corticosteroid injection is a way to deliver pain medication quickly inside the body via a syringe. Epidural Injection (Click to Enlarge) The medication is delivered to the epidural area, which is a fat-filled area that covers the spinal cord and protects it and the surrounding nerves from damage. Sometimes the effect is temporary, but other times the benefits continue even after the...
Laminectomy
Laminectomy (Lumbar Laminectomy, Cervical Laminectomy, Decompressive Laminectomy, Back Surgery, Disk Surgery) Procedure overview Click Image to Enlarge What is a laminectomy? Back pain that interferes with normal daily activities may require surgery for treatment. Laminectomy is a type of surgery in which a surgeon removes part or all of the vertebral bone (lamina) to relieve compression of the spinal cord or the nerve roots that may be caused by injury, herniated disk, spinal stenosis (narrowing of the...
Carpal Tunnel Release
Carpal Tunnel Release (Carpal Tunnel Surgery) Procedure overview Carpal tunnel release is a surgery that’s used to treat and potentially heal the painful condition known as carpal tunnel syndrome. Doctors used to think that carpal tunnel syndrome was caused by an overuse injury or a repetitive motion performed by the wrist or hand, often at work. They now know that it is most likely a congenital predisposition--some people simply have smaller carpal tunnels. Carpal tunnel syndrome can also be caused by ...
Arthroplasty
Arthroplasty (Hip Arthroplasty, Joint Arthroplasty, Knee Arthroplasty, Shoulder Arthroplasty, Finger Arthroplasty, Joint Replacement Surgery) Procedure overview What is arthroplasty? Arthroplasty is a surgical procedure to restore the integrity and function of a joint. A joint can be restored by resurfacing the bones. An artificial joint (called a prosthesis) may also be used. Various types of arthritis may affect the joints. Osteoarthritis, or degenerative joint disease, is a loss of the cartilage or c...
Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy (Arthroscopic Surgery, Arthroscopic Examination, Joint Endoscopy, Knee Arthroscopy, Shoulder Arthroscopy, Fiberoptic Joint Examination) Procedure overview What is arthroscopy? Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive procedure used for the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting joints. The doctor can directly view the internal structures of a joint using an instrument called an arthroscope. Orthopedic surgeons use arthroscopy to diagnose and treat joint problems. An arthroscope is a smal...
Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure
Knee Replacement Surgery Procedure (Total Knee Arthroplasty, Knee Arthroplasty, Total Knee Replacement, Knee Replacement) Procedure overview What is a knee replacement surgery? Knee replacement, also called arthroplasty, is a surgical procedure to resurface a knee damaged by arthritis. Metal and plastic parts are used to cap the ends of the bones that form the knee joint, along with the kneecap. This surgery may be considered for someone who has severe arthritis or a severe knee injury. Various types of...
Kyphoplasty
Kyphoplasty (Balloon Vertebroplasty) Procedure overview Kyphoplasty is often discussed along with another procedure called vertebroplasty . These are used to treat fractures in the bones of the spine. These bones are called vertebrae . During a vertebroplasty, the doctor injects a cementlike material into the bone to make it more stable. During a kyphoplasty, the doctor first inflates a balloonlike device in the bone to make space. The space is then filled with cement. Reasons for the procedure You may ...
Vertebroplasty
Vertebroplasty (Percutaneous Vertebroplasty) Procedure overview Vertebroplasty is a procedure in which a special medical-grade cement mixture is injected into a fractured vertebra. The vertebrae are the small bones that make up the spine. When they become fractured, you will often experience pain and a loss of mobility. When vertebroplasty is successful, the cement mixture injection stabilizes the vertebra and allows you to return to normal activity after a recovery period. Reasons for the procedure The...
X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back
X-rays of the Spine, Neck, or Back (Cervical, Thoracic, Lumbar, Sacral, or Coccygeal X-ray Studies) Procedure overview What are X-rays of the spine, neck, or back? X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic pu...
Bone Biopsy
Bone Biopsy (Biopsy-Bone, Bone Lesion Biopsy) Procedure overview What is a bone biopsy? A biopsy is a procedure performed to remove tissue or cells from the body for examination under a microscope. A bone biopsy is a procedure in which bone samples are removed (with a special biopsy needle or during surgery) to determine if cancer or other abnormal cells are present. A bone biopsy involves the outer layers of bone, unlike a bone marrow biopsy, which involves the innermost part of the bone. There are two...
Bunion Surgery
Bunion Surgery (Hallux Valgus Repair, Bunionectomy) Procedure overview What is a bunion? A bunion (hallux valgus) is an enlargement of the bone or tissue around a joint at the base of the big toe or at the base of the little toe (in which case it is called a "bunionette" or "tailor's bunion"). Bunions often occur when the joint is stressed over a prolonged period. Ninety percent of bunions occur in women, primarily because women may be more likely to wear tight, pointed, and confining shoes. Bunions may...
Muscle Biopsy
Muscle Biopsy (Biopsy-Muscle) Procedure overview A muscle biopsy is a procedure used to diagnose diseases involving muscle tissue. Tissue and cells from a specific muscle are removed and viewed microscopically. The procedure requires only a small piece of tissue to be removed from the designated muscle. The tissue sample is obtained by inserting a biopsy needle into the muscle. If a larger sample is required, your doctor may make an incision in the skin (open biopsy) and remove a larger section of muscl...
Rotator Cuff Repair
Rotator Cuff Repair (Rotator Cuff Surgery, Shoulder Surgery) Procedure Overview What is rotator cuff repair? The rotator cuff consists of muscles and tendons that hold the shoulder in place. It is one of the most important parts of the shoulder. The rotator cuff allows a person to lift his/her arm and reach up. An injury to the rotator cuff, such as a tear, may happen suddenly when falling on an outstretched hand or develop over time due to repetitive activities. Rotator cuff degeneration and tears may ...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Bones, Joints, and Soft Tissues
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Bones, Joints, and Soft Tissues (MRI Scan of the Bones, Joints, and Soft Tissue) Procedure Overview What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. How does an MRI scan work? The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic fi...
Myelogram
Myelogram (Myelography) Procedure overview What is a myelogram? A myelogram, also known as myelography, is a diagnostic imaging procedure performed by a radiologist. It combines the use of a contrast substance with X-rays or computed tomography (CT) to evaluate abnormalities of the spinal canal, including the spinal cord, nerve roots, and other tissues. The contrast "dye" is injected into the spinal column before the procedure. This substance, or dye, causes the tissue under study to be visible. After t...
Bone Densitometry
Bone Densitometry (Bone Mineral Density [BMD] Test, Bone Density Test, Bone Mineral Content, Bone Absorptiometry) Procedure overview What is bone densitometry? Bone densitometry is used to measure the bone mineral content and density. This measurement can indicate decreased bone mass, a condition in which bones are more brittle and more prone to break or fracture easily. Bone densitometry is used primarily to diagnose osteoporosis and to determine fracture risk. The testing procedure measures the bone d...
Knee Ligament Repair
Knee Ligament Repair (ACL Repair, ACL Reconstruction, PCL Repair, PCL Reconstruction, MCL Repair, MCL Reconstruction, LCL Repair, LCL Reconstruction) Procedure overview What is knee ligament repair? Ligaments are bands of tough, elastic connective tissue that surround a joint to give support and limit the joint's movement. When ligaments are damaged, the knee joint may become unstable. The ligament damage often occurs from a sports injury. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement, resulting in a pe...
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) of the Spine and Brain (MRI Scan of the Spine, MRI Scan of the Brain) Procedure overview What is magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)? Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a diagnostic procedure that uses a combination of a large magnet, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body. How does an MRI scan work? The MRI machine is a large, cylindrical (tube-shaped) machine that creates a strong magnetic field around the pat...
Sympathetic Nerve Blocks for Pain
Sympathetic Nerve Blocks for Pain A sympathetic nerve block can be an effective method for controlling chronic pain. This therapy targets the sympathetic nervous system, a series of nerves that spread out from your spine to your body to help control several involuntary body functions, or body functions that you have no control over. These include blood flow, digestion, and sweating. When is a nerve block needed? A sympathetic nerve block can be used to diagnose or treat pain involving the nerves of the ...
X-rays of the Extremities
X-rays of the Extremities (X-ray of the Arm, Leg, Hand, Wrist, Foot, Ankle, Shoulder, Knee, or Hip) Procedure overview What are X-rays of the extremities? X-rays use invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs on film. Standard X-rays are performed for many reasons, including diagnosing tumors or bone injuries. X-rays are made by using external radiation to produce images of the body, its organs, and other internal structures for diagnostic purposes. X...
Bone Scan
Bone Scan (Bone Scintigraphy) Procedure overview What is a bone scan? A bone scan is a specialized radiology procedure used to examine the various bones of the skeleton to identify areas of physical and chemical changes in bone. A bone scan may also be used to follow the progress of treatment of certain conditions. A bone scan is a type of nuclear radiology procedure. This means that a tiny amount of a radioactive substance is used during the procedure to assist in the examination of the bones. The radi...
Arthrography
Arthrography (Joint X-ray, Arthrogram) Procedure overview What is arthrography? Arthrography is a type of X-ray used to examine a joint, such as the knee or hip, when standard X-rays are not adequate. A series of X-rays is taken with the joint in various positions after contrast dye is placed in the joint. An arthrogram may use fluoroscopy, CT, or MR imaging to better visualize the joint. While arthrography is most commonly used to examine the knee and shoulder joints, it may also be used to examine oth...
Fluoroscopy Procedure
Fluoroscopy Procedure Procedure overview Fluoroscopy is a study of moving body structures--similar to an X-ray "movie." A continuous X-ray beam is passed through the body part being examined. The beam is transmitted to a TV-like monitor so that the body part and its motion can be seen in detail. Fluoroscopy, as an imaging tool, enables physicians to look at many body systems, including the skeletal, digestive, urinary, respiratory, and reproductive systems. Fluoroscopy may be performed to evaluate speci...
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Spine (Spinal CT Scan, CT of the Spine or Back) Procedure overview What is a CT or CAT scan of the spine? Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standa...
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Bones
Computed Tomography (CT or CAT) Scan of the Bones (CT Scan of the Skeleton) Procedure overview Computed tomography (CT or CAT scan) is a noninvasive diagnostic imaging procedure that uses a combination of X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images (often called slices) of the body. A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than standard X-rays. In standard X-rays, a beam of energy is aime...
Amputation Procedure
Amputation Procedure (Surgical Removal of an Extremity or Limb) Procedure overview What is amputation? Amputation is a surgical procedure that involves removal of an extremity or limb (leg or arm) or a part of a limb (such as a toe, finger, foot, or hand), usually as a result of injury, disease, infection, or surgery (to remove tumors from bones and muscles). Amputation of the leg (above and below-knee) is the most common type of amputation procedure performed. Why are amputations done? The most common ...
Joint Aspiration
Joint Aspiration (Joint Injection and Aspiration, Joint Aspiration and Analysis, Arthrocentesis) Procedure overview What is joint aspiration? Joint aspiration refers to removing fluid from the space around a joint using a needle and syringe. This is usually performed under a local anesthetic to either relieve swelling or to obtain fluid for analysis to diagnose a joint disorder and/or problem. Joint aspiration is usually performed on the knee. However, fluid can also be removed from other joints, such a...
Bone Marrow Biopsy
Bone Marrow Biopsy (Biopsy-Bone Marrow, Bone Marrow Aspiration and Biopsy) Procedure Overview What is a bone marrow biopsy? In the center of most large bones there is a soft tissue (called bone marrow) that makes about 95 percent of the body's blood cells. The marrow is a network of tissue that contains immature blood cells in an organized structure. Red bone marrow is the active portion that produces red blood cells, while yellow bone marrow contains fat cells. In adults the red bone marrow is located ...