Do Orthopedic Surgeons Always Recommend Surgery?: Torrance Physician Says No
That debilitating limp, rotator cuff injury, osteoarthritis, or acute fracture has got you worried -- not just about the impact it's making on your everyday life, but also about the prospect of undergoing orthopedic surgery.
But you might find yourself pleasantly surprised when you bring that painful problem to Rolling Hills Medical in Torrance CA. Our orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Neil Ghodadra, may recommend non-surgical treatment methods to restore your mobility and comfort, even if another practitioner has already tried to steer you toward the operating room.
Conditions Commonly Treated by Orthopedic Surgery
Surgery isn't the only thing you can expect when going to an orthopedic doctor. There are indeed many joint and bone problems that respond well to orthopedic surgery if other methods cannot give you a satisfactory result. We may recommend surgery for conditions and situations such as:
- Severe, bone-on-bone arthritis
- Vertebral fractures
- Comminuted fractures (in which the bone fragments have drifted out of alignment with each other)
- Injuries in which a tendon or ligament has been torn completely away from the bone
- Severe nerve impingement in situations such as a carpal tunnel or tarsal tunnel syndrome
- Avascular necrosis (bone death that can lead to multiple hairline fractures)
- Bone cancer
- A torn biceps muscle, rotator cuff muscle, or other major muscle
In some of these cases, orthopedic surgery may be the only available treatment option. In other cases, it may be much more likely to yield good long-term results even when non-surgical treatment is an option. For example, a severe calcaneus (heel bone) fracture can heal by itself, but with relatively high risks for foot deformity, pain and arthritis. By contrast, surgery to fix and fuse the bone fragments can give you a much better chance of going through life with a normal gait (and normal shoes).
Trying Conservative Treatment First
Regardless of the potential benefits, you should always get a second opinion if you're told that you need any kind of surgery. Individual practitioners must rely on their own experiences, skill sets, risk assessments, and insights when it comes to recommending a particular form of treatment. But surgery should represent a last resort. Invasive procedures inevitably damage healthy tissues even as they repair previous damage, if only through the creation of incisions. Surgery typically requires lengthy recovery and rehabilitation periods as well. Our orthopedic surgeon in Torrance believes in pursuing conservative treatment first, in the hopes of giving you the relief you need without the need for surgery.
A Variety of Options at Rolling Hills Medical
Here at Rolling Hills Medical, our team can offer many non-surgical forms of care. Our Torrance orthopedic surgeon will evaluate your condition's severity to determine what degree of care it may respond to. Even an agonizingly painful joint problem may be brought under control through relatively conservative methods such as:
- Epidural steroid injections - These injections of powerful anti-inflammatory and anesthetic medications could eliminate or delay your need for spinal surgery.
- Chiropractic care - Chiropractic adjustments can restore or improve joint function non-surgically by correcting painful alignment problems.
- Physiotherapy/Rehabilitation - A combination of soft tissue therapies and rehabilitative exercises can help you feel and move better.
Common Symptoms We See for Orthopedic Surgery
Ask Our Torrance Orthopedic Surgeon for Guidance and Treatment
Is your condition better served by conservative treatment or orthopedic surgery? You'll get the correct answer when you bring your health challenge to Rolling Hills Medical. Call 424-250-8699 to schedule a consultation with our Torrance orthopedic surgeon.
Dr. Neil Ghodadra, MD
Dr. Ghodadra is well known for his surgical skill and his devotion to teaching and innovation in orthopedic surgery. He has authored over 65 textbook chapters and journal articles. Dr. Ghodadra was instrumental in developing a landmark technique for patients with recurrent shoulder instability.