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Techniques and Types of Orthopedic Surgery

If you are headed in to see an orthopedic specialist, you may be a little intimidated, not knowing what you are in for or what your procedure will look like. Go in with knowledge of these common techniques and types to put your mind at ease.

Joint Replacement Operation

Likely the most common type of operation you are familiar with when it comes to discussing orthopedic procedures, joint replacement is common in the elderly population, with athletes who have suffered strain or injury from repetitive use, individuals with degenerative diseases, and many other problems associated with wear and tear of the joints. During this procedure, the surgeon disconnects the faulty joint, removes it, and replaces it with an artificial joint before reconnecting it back to the tissues in the body. While this sounds complicated, for many orthopedic specialists it is a very routine procedure that they complete quite regularly and advances in technology mean it has a high success rate and greatly improves the quality of life of the patient. In addition, the patient often has a fast recovery time when positioned with an experienced occupational therapist to help them with their rehabilitation and this makes for a minimally disruptive overall experience.


Specific to the knee joint, this is a technique that your orthopedic specialist can use to diagnose and treat problems that are causing pain and discomfort in the knee. During this procedure, the specialist will make a small incision in the knee and insert a small camera inside. This camera, called an arthroscope, will be used to view inside the knee joint, projecting the image onto a screen. From this image the doctor will be able to see what is going on inside the joint to cause problems and be able to make a diagnosis and treatment plan accordingly.

Mako Robotic Surgery 

A special type of technology used for joint replacements such as knee and hip replacement operations, the Mako robotic surgery makes use of a special arm, which is able to assist the doctor in guiding the surgical procedure within boundaries defined for the patient through the results of their CT scan. When the patient comes in for the operation, a series of scans will be able to show the doctor where the joint needs to be disconnected from the bones and tissues, and then where the new joint needs to be re-attached to maximize the chance of complete recovery and minimize the risk of negative surgical outcome on the patient.

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort in any of your joints or think you may be a candidate for one of these techniques, be sure to speak to your specialist about how they can help you. To request a consultation with one of the orthopedic specialists at the Orthopedic & Sports Institute, please call (920) 560-1000 or request an appointment online. OSI is Northeast Wisconsin’s provider of Mako Robotic-Arm Assisted Surgery for Hips & Knees.

OSI has convenient locations to serve you. In addition to the flagship facility in Appleton, you will find outreach clinics in New London, Ripon, Shawano, Waupaca, and the newest location serving the Green Bay area, inside the NOVO Health Clinic in De Pere.

The Appleton location also has a walk-in clinic that provides care for new orthopedic injuries.

OSI is a proud member of NOVO Health.