Out of the 33 million musculoskeletal injuries that are reported in the US annually, nearly 50 percent involve soft tissue injuries, including tendon and ligament injuries.
The frequency of such injuries is likely to rise as progressively more people participate in physical and recreational activities each year.
In exceptionally severe cases, orthopedic surgery may have to be performed to treat the tendon or ligament injury. Southern California Hip Institute (SCHI), led by board certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan, provides soft tissue repair surgery to patients in North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and surrounding locations.
Candidates for Surgery
There are some situations where the surgeon may not recommend nonsurgical treatment. The first instance is patients in the age group of 20 to 30 years who are active and develop a tear and serious functional deficit from a particular occurrence. The second instance is patients in the age group of 30 to 50 years who have acute tendon tear secondary due to a particular event.
The third instance is that of a very competitive athlete who is involved in throwing and overhead sports. Such candidates may require orthopedic surgery, such as repairing the tendons or ligaments, to restore the normal strength needed to help these athletes resume the same pre-op level of function.
Patients with major tendon defects should receive surgical treatment and the area with the defect should be rebuilt surgically using grafts.
Furthermore, in some cases, the torn ligaments, especially the intrasynovial ligaments, may have to be replaced surgically via a graft. Therefore, in patients with such injuries, medical or conservative treatment alternatives might not suffice.
What is Tendon Repair Surgery?
Tendon repair surgery is helpful in the treatment of a torn or compromised tendon. Tendons are band-like, soft tissues that link the muscles and bones. On contraction of the muscles, the tendon pulls the bones enabling the joints to move.
Tendon damage may seriously limit movement. The area with the damage may feel sore, painful or weak.
Tendon repair surgery can help individuals with tendon injuries which are creating difficulties in joint movement or are quite painful.
How is Tendon Repair Done?
In a tendon repair surgery, the surgeon will:
- place one or more tiny incisions (cuts) in the skin over the compromised tendon
- sew the torn ends of the tendon together
- Evaluate the surrounding tissue to ensure that there are no other injuries, such as injury to the nerves or blood vessels
- close the incision
- apply sterile bandages or dressings to the treated area
- splint or immobilize the joint to enable the tendon to heal
In case sufficient healthy tendon is not available to reconnect, the surgeon may carry out a tendon graft using a fragment of tendon from another bodily site, say, from the foot or toe. Sometimes, a tendon transfer (moving a tendon from one site to another) may help in the restoration of function.
The patient will receive anesthesia (pain medication) during tendon repair surgery to prevent them from feeling pain during the procedure. Experienced orthopedic surgeon Dr. Tigran Garabekyan receives patients from North Hollywood, Los Angeles, and nearby areas for soft tissue repair procedures.
Dr. Tigran Garabekyan is a board certified orthopedic surgeon specializing in hip preservation. To learn more about Southern California Hip Institute or to schedule a consultation, click here to contact us or call:
Serving patients in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Van Nuys, North Hollywood, Burbank, Glendale, West Hollywood, Century City, Beverly Hills, Santa Monica, Los Angeles, and other neighboring cities in the greater Los Angeles, California area.
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