Minimally Invasive Surgery & Arthroscopy

Minimally Invasive Surgery

Surgery is defined as the art and science of treating diseases, injuries, and deformities by operations and instruments. The word surgery is derived from the Greek word Cheirourgia (cheir = Hand and ergon = work). In the past and even during these modern times, the word surgery is associated with large scars, significant post-operative pain, and long recovery period. However, the modern medicine has made significant strides towards improving surgical techniques. Over the past 20 years, students of the art of surgery have learned to perform the same operations with significantly less invasive techniques.

Traditionally, surgeons made large incisions, dissected around healthy and viable tissues, and at times even cut normal tissues to gain access to the injured areas to perform the operation. However, recent advances in instrumentation, microcomputers, and optical abilities of cameras have enabled surgeons to perform their operation with minimal injury to the surrounding normal structures. There is no wonder that surgeons across all facets of medicine have welcomed these techniques and have spent countless hours training for minimally invasive surgery.

Minimally invasive surgery utilizes cameras as the eyes of the surgeon, especially designed instruments as the fingers of the surgeon, and video monitors as the way of communicating the information to the surgeon. This enables the surgeon to perform the same operations with significantly smaller incisions, minimal bleeding, minimal injury to the surrounding muscles and ligaments, and significantly less post-operative pain. Most operations are performed as outpatient surgery (patients go home the same day), and patient recovery is more rapid. Postoperative scarring is minimal and patients regain their motion and mobility much more quickly.

Most surgeons performing minimally invasive surgery are fellowship trained in their respective fields (fellowship training in sports medicine and arthroscopy, spine surgery, hand surgery etc.). These techniques are very demanding and they are reserved for most skilled surgeons who are committed to spending countless hours practicing their skills in laboratories prior to bringing them into live-patient operating room. Furthermore, new techniques are developed rapidly with ongoing advances in technology. This requires surgeons to constantly sharpen their skills and have ongoing training in the newest and most advance techniques that are available.

Some of the minimally invasive procedures that are performed by the surgeons at Tower Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine are available by clicking on the following links.


Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical method in which your surgeon makes small incisions in the skin and then inserts tiny instruments that include a microscopic lens and lighting system to magnify the anatomy of the shoulder joint. The instruments are connected to a camera and the surgeon can view the affected area on a large monitor. Surgeons can better identify the cause of instability then prepare treatment accordingly. If loose ligaments are found during the arthroscopic procedure, surgeons may shorten or shrink the ligaments using a tiny probe that applies heat until the ligament tightens. If arthroscopy reveals a labrum tear, then surgeons may use tiny surgical tools to cut out, trim, or reattach the ligament to its socket.

Because of the small incisions, recovery time is decreased and patients who experience an arthroscopic procedure may resume normal activity within a few days.

Before being discharged, instructions are given about care for your incisions, exercises to aid your recovery, and activities you should avoid. Follow up visits are scheduled to inspect your incisions and evaluate your rehabilitation progress.