All Medical Procedures

ACL reconstruction is surgery to replace the anterior cruciate (KROO-she-ate) ligament (ACL) — one of the major ligaments in your knee. ACL injuries most commonly occur during sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction — such as basketball, soccer, football and volleyball.

A torn ACL can't be successfully sewn back together, so the ligament is replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your leg or from a deceased donor. This surgery is usually performed through small incisions around your knee joint. A narrow, fiber-optic viewing scope is used to guide the placement of the ACL graft.

The ankle-brachial index test is a quick, noninvasive way to check your risk of peripheral artery disease (PAD). Peripheral artery disease is a condition in which the arteries in your legs or arms are narrowed or blocked. People with peripheral artery disease are at a high risk of heart attack, stroke, poor circulation and leg pain.

The ankle-brachial index test compares your blood pressure measured at your ankle with your blood pressure measured at your arm. A low ankle-brachial index number can indicate narrowing or blockage of the arteries in your legs, leading to circulatory problems, heart disease or stroke. The ankle-brachial index test is sometimes recommended as part of a series of three tests, including the carotid ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound, to check for blocked or narrowed arteries.

Arthroscopy (ahr-THROS-skuh-pee) is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. During arthroscopy, a surgeon inserts a narrow tube containing a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a video monitor.

Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your joint without having to make a large incision. Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with pencil-thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.

A bone scan is a nuclear imaging test that helps diagnose and track several types of bone disease. Your doctor may order a bone scan if you have unexplained skeletal pain, bone infection or a bone injury that can't be seen on a standard X-ray.

A bone scan is also an important tool for detecting cancer that has spread (metastasized) to the bone from the tumor's original location, such as the breast or prostate.

Chiropractic adjustment is a procedure in which trained specialists (chiropractors) use their hands or a small instrument to apply a controlled, sudden force to a spinal joint. The goal of chiropractic adjustment, also known as spinal manipulation, is to correct structural alignment and improve your body's physical function.

Cortisone shots are injections that may help relieve pain and inflammation in a specific area of your body. Cortisone shots are most commonly given into joints — such as your ankle, elbow, hip, knee, shoulder, spine and wrist. Even the small joints in your hands and feet may benefit from cortisone shots.

Cortisone shots usually include a corticosteroid medication and a local anesthetic. In many cases, cortisone shots can be administered in your doctor's office. However, the number of cortisone shots you can receive in one year generally is limited because of potential side effects from the medication.

Diskectomy is a surgical procedure to remove the damaged portion of a herniated disk in your spine. A herniated disk can irritate or compress nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness or weakness. These symptoms can affect your neck or back or may radiate down your arms or legs.

Diskectomy works best on radiating symptoms. It's less helpful for actual back pain or neck pain. Most people who have back pain or neck pain find relief with more-conservative treatments, such as pain medications or physical therapy.

Your doctor may suggest diskectomy if conservative, nonsurgical treatments haven't worked or if your symptoms worsen. There are several ways to perform a diskectomy. Many surgeons now prefer minimally invasive diskectomy, which uses small incisions and a tiny video camera for viewing.

During hip replacement, a surgeon removes the damaged sections of your hip joint and replaces them with parts usually constructed of metal and very hard plastic. This artificial joint (prosthesis) helps reduce pain and improve function.

Also called total hip arthroplasty, hip replacement surgery may be an option for you if your hip pain interferes with daily activities and more-conservative treatments haven't helped. Arthritis damage is the most common reason to need hip replacement.

A knee brace for osteoarthritis may help reduce pain by shifting your weight off the most damaged portion of your knee. This may improve your ability to get around and help increase the distance you can walk comfortably.

Knee braces come in a variety of designs, but most are constructed with a combination of rigid and flexible materials — plastic, metal or other composite material for basic structure and support, and synthetic rubber or moldable foam for padding and positioning.