Surgery is usually the treatment of last resort for most conditions; however, in the case of acute injury or arthritis, it may be the only thing that gets your life back on track. There’s a lot involved in reconstructive surgery, so it’s important that you understand what to expect if you need it for your condition.
At University of Toledo Physicians, our staff can determine if reconstructive surgery is what’s required to get you back on your feet. Dr. Nabil Ebraheim is a skilled orthopedic surgeon who specializes in both open and minimally invasive surgical procedures. After a thorough exam and diagnostic tests, he’s able to make a treatment plan specifically designed for you.
Conditions that warrant reconstructive surgery
Most chronic conditions usually start with conservative treatment. This may involve rest, medications, injections, or physical therapy. If none of these treatments give you adequate relief, it’s probably time for you to consider surgical intervention.
But what conditions get you to the point of reconstructive surgery? The answer is any condition or injury that causes damage or wear-and-tear of your joints and is unrelieved by other treatments. These conditions include, but aren’t limited to:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Traumatic injuries
- Avascular necrosis
The most common reason for reconstructive surgery is osteoarthritis because it causes your joints to wear down over time, leading to pain, decreased mobility, and loss of joint function. Because your body is unable to regenerate the cartilage tissue that’s lost with this condition, reconstructive surgery is often needed in order for you to get full function back.
Traumatic injury is another primary reason you may need this type of surgery. Sporting injuries and falls sometimes lead to tendon or ligament tears, which may warrant reconstruction by Dr. Ebraheim.
If you’re in need of a surgical reconstruction, knowing what you can expect is the key to a successful surgery and recovery.
What’s involved in reconstructive surgery?
Reconstructive surgery aims to rebuild parts of your musculoskeletal system, including bones, joints, and ligaments. The specifics of the surgery depend on the severity of your condition and which part of your body is being reconstructed. Some of the common types of reconstructive surgeries you may encounter include:
The first step in reconstructive surgery involves Dr. Ebraheim performing an extensive medical exam and imaging studies such as X-rays or an MRI. Once he determines that reconstructive surgery is what you need, he goes over the procedure with you and what you can expect.
For this type of surgery, you’ll be asleep with general anesthesia. Dr. Ebraheim will either do open surgery or a minimally invasive procedure. Minimally invasive surgery involves smaller incisions and less recovery time; however, sometimes it isn’t practical for your condition.
If you’re in need of a joint reconstruction, Dr. Ebraheim will remove the damaged or worn down parts of your joint, and replace them with a prosthetic. Your prosthesis is made of materials like ceramic, hard plastics, and metal. It’s meant to mimic your normal joint movements and last a long time.
On the other hand, if you’re in need of a tendon or ligament reconstruction, Dr. Ebraheim removes the torn or damaged tissue and replaces it. The replacement either comes from another part of your body, or from a deceased donor. Dr. Ebraheim discusses both options with you before surgery, to determine which choice is best for you.
Recovering from surgery
After your procedure is finished, you’ll spend some time in the recovery room, and then will either go home or spend a night or two in the hospital. Again, this is determined by the type of reconstruction you’ve undergone.
Once you’re home, the real recovery begins. Dr. Ebraheim will have you start physical therapy as soon as possible to avoid stiffness in the joint or tendon. He’ll also work closely with you to manage your pain, and make sure your reconstruction heals as planned.
It may take a while for you to get full function back, ranging anywhere from three months to a whole year. The length depends on the type of reconstruction you’ve gone through and your commitment to therapy, both in the office and at home.
When you’re tired of dealing with the pain of arthritis and think reconstructive surgery may help, call our office at 419-383-3761, or book a consultation online today. You can also get more information about orthopedic injuries on our YouTube channel.