Let’s go for a walk. We lace up our comfy old walking shoes, aim for a scenic flat-surfaced road, and set out to increase our heart rate and muscle tone. With no conscious effort at all, our bones and joints and muscles engage as one miraculous mechanical unit. They propel us forward, as intended, with perfectly syncopated balance and strength. That is, until the pain starts.
Sometimes it’s a dull ache in the hips, or a “slippery”, unstable feeling in the knees that gives you concern while descending the stairs. Walking, especially for longer distances, may cause an uneven cadence or a limp. Ibuprofen and anti-inflammatories can work wonders to reduce discomfort. However, when the pain keeps you up at night and it’s difficult to rise from sitting, it is time to see the doctor.
Your orthopedic specialist in Guatemala City will inquire about your symptoms and perform a physical examination. X-ray images may show loss of the cartilage and a “bone-on-bone” appearance. Bone spurs and bone cysts are commonly seen on high-resolution diagnostic scans like magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans. The goal of arthroscopic or joint replacement surgery (arthroplasty) is to relieve pain and increase the mobility and function of a damaged joint. It is usually considered only when other methods, such as physical therapy, exercise, and medications have failed.
The materials used in artificial joints vary, depending on the type of joint being replaced and how it needs to function. Hip joints, for example, need to be sturdy and able to bear your body’s weight evenly. Knee joints need to be flexible as well as strong. In general, the components must be durable, flexible and able to function in the body without causing an immune system reaction. The implants used for hip and knee replacements in Guatemala are imported from the finest manufacturers in the world, usually ceramic on plastic and always biocompatible, meaning they’re designed to be accepted by your body. You can depend on pain-free function for twenty years or more.
Arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure in which a joint (arthro-) is viewed (-scopy) using a small camera. During the procedure, your orthopedic surgeon inserts the arthroscope, a small camera instrument about the size of a pencil, into your knee joint. The arthroscope sends the image to a high-definition monitor so that your surgeon can see the structures of the knee in great detail. Arthroscopy is a very effective tool that allows your surgeon to feel, repair, or remove damaged tissue. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.
Recovery is a breeze at the Guatemala Medical Travel recovery guest house in Antigua, known as Casa Muriel. You will be up and walking 24 hours after surgery, return to the house that same day, and enjoy a stress-free recovery. Your RN nurse will check the wound, and the physical therapist monitors your comfort and mobility until the stitches are removed and you can return home.
Guatemalan orthopedic surgeons offer the perfect balance of cutting-edge technical instrumentation, the latest biotech materials, and many years of global training with extensive practical experience. You will see them, together with local and international patients, striding gracefully and confidently into the future.