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Sport Surgery and Arthroscopy | Why is Important?

Sports surgery and arthroscopy play pivotal roles in the realm of sports medicine, serving as indispensable tools in the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of sports-related injuries. These fields are vital for athletes and active individuals alike, offering specialized techniques that aim to restore functionality, alleviate pain, and facilitate a swift return to physical activity.


You may also be interested in:

What is a closed meniscus surgery? What is a shoulder prosthesis? What treatments do we offer? How is Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Surgery Performed?

Sports Surgery

The goal of a sports surgeon is to heal their injured athlete as quickly as possible and return them to the game healthier and stronger than before. Most surgeries performed by sports surgeons are minimally invasive and are arthroscopic surgeries. Whether the surgery required by the athlete is closed or open, the main philosophy of sports surgery is to choose surgical techniques that will enable the quickest possible return to the game and perform these procedures. They avoid unnecessary and unsuitable surgical procedures for the athlete. Another important aspect of sports surgery is closely monitoring the athlete after surgery. This process is as important as the surgery itself. Often, during the rehabilitation process, the sports surgeon is in contact with the physiotherapist they work with one-on-one within their team, examining the athlete during check-ups when necessary, and personally managing the process by making the necessary interventions. They may even create the exercise program themselves. Sports surgeons are orthopedic specialists who treat injuries to the musculoskeletal system that occur after sports trauma through surgery. They focus on arthroscopic surgeries of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, foot, and ankle joints. Sports surgeons do not always perform arthroscopic surgeries; they also perform open surgeries. Open surgeries are often non-joint injuries. Examples of such surgeries include surgeries for Achilles, quadriceps, and patellar tendon ruptures, kneecap dislocation surgeries, and some fracture surgeries. Although the patients of sports surgeons are often athletes and sportspeople, they also perform surgeries on non-athletes. For example, they may perform surgery on a person who has torn their anterior cruciate ligament and meniscus by stepping on spilled oil on their kitchen floor, or someone who has torn a tendon in their shoulder from falling while walking on the street.


Arthroscopic surgeries, also known as closed surgeries, are procedures in which a joint is visualized with a camera, the damage within the joint is identified, and the surgery for this damage is performed simultaneously. The image obtained from this camera is projected onto a high-resolution screen. Arthroscopic surgeries are usually performed through 2 or 3 incisions of about 1 cm each. A camera is placed in one of the incisions, while the necessary tools for the surgery are inserted into the joint through the other incisions. The most significant advantage of arthroscopic surgeries is that they can be performed without opening the joint and creating large incisions.

The joints where arthroscopic surgeries are most commonly performed include:

  • Knee

  • Shoulder

  • Hip

  • Elbow

  • Wrist

  • Ankle

What is the Importance of Sports Surgery and Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopic surgeries are performed by inserting a small camera through an incision of about 1 cm. The surgery is performed through other small incisions. These types of surgeries are minimally invasive. The surgery is performed by visualizing the area to be operated on without making large incisions, using the camera.

Advantages of Arthroscopic Surgeries

Quick Healing Process:

The biggest advantage is that it allows athletes to heal quickly, accelerating their return to sports.

Less Damage to Surrounding Tissues During Surgery:

In traditional open surgery, it may be necessary to cut surrounding tissues to access the problem area. This increases the healing time and causes more pain for the patients after surgery. In arthroscopic surgeries, there is minimal contact with surrounding tissues.

Less Scarring:

Leaving less scarring in joint surgery is crucial for regaining joint movements during the rehabilitation process. Traditional open surgeries often involve large incisions, which can lead to scar tissue that hinders joint movements. In arthroscopic surgeries, the incisions are so small that scarring is almost never an issue.

Less Stress:

Most patients can go home the same evening after an arthroscopic surgery.

Why are Arthroscopic Surgeries Performed?

Over 100 arthroscopic surgeries can be performed using instruments the thickness of a pencil to visualize the interior of joints such as the knee, hip, shoulder, elbow, wrist, and ankle without making large incisions. These surgeries include repair of meniscus tears, labrum tears in shoulder dislocations, shaving excess bone in the hip joint, and anterior cruciate ligament injuries.

How to Prepare for an Arthroscopic Surgery?

After the decision for surgery has been made and your appointment is scheduled, unless your doctor specifies otherwise:

  • Shave the area to be operated on if it's hairy, taking a shower after shaving one hand span above and one hand span below the area.

  • Choose clothes that are easy to put on and take off, and preferably one size larger. If you are having surgery on your hip, knee, or ankle, wearing shorts is appropriate. If you are having surgery on your shoulder, elbow, or wrist, wearing a sleeveless shirt will make things easier.

  • When going to the hospital, remove any metal items on your body, such as earrings or piercings.

What are Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries can be divided into two types.

1. Traumatic Injuries:

These can result from a fall during training or competition, or from an opponent's impact. Examples of traumatic injuries include fractures and dislocations due to direct impact, as well as anterior cruciate ligament tears, which can occur without any direct impact.

2. Overuse Injuries:

A perfect example of overuse injuries is stress fractures. Just as a paper clip breaks after being bent 20-30 times, our bones can suffer the same fate. The mechanism for the formation of stress fractures in certain bones, such as the shinbone, is related to running. The runner has exceeded their bone's capacity. If they have run distances and speeds they are not accustomed to, or if they haven't rested or nourished themselves properly, the inevitable result is a stress fracture.

Shoulder, Knee, Cruciate Ligament are the most common injuries in these areas. You can find my articles on this subject:

Shoulder Surgery Treatments

Knee Surgery Treatments

What is the Anterior Cruciate Ligament? How is the surgery done?

In Knee Joint

  • Anterior and posterior cruciate ligament surgeries

  • Inner and outer meniscus tears, sutures and meniscus transplant surgeries

  • Some kneecap surgeries, such as lateral release

  • Joint mouse

  • Cartilage surgeries

  • Some fractures

  • Knee joint infection (septic arthritis of the knee)

In the Shoulder Joint

  • Acromioclavicular joint dislocations

  • Acromioclavicular joint calcification surgery

  • Rotator cuff tear

  • SLAP tear

  • Biceps tendon injuries

  • Compression and bursitis surgeries in the shoulder joint

  • Recurrent shoulder dislocation surgeries such as Bankart and remplissage

In the Hip Joint

  • Labrum tear

  • Femoroacetabular impingement

  • G. medius tendon tear

  • Piriformis syndrome

  • Joint mouse

  • Snapping hip

  • Hip joint infections

Elbow Joint

  • Removal of cartilage and bone fragments circulating in the elbow joint

  • Joint stiffness

  • Tennis elbow

  • In the surgeries of some intra-articular fractures

Ankle Joint

  • Compression in the front of the ankle

  • Conditions in which structures such as bone and cartilage move freely within the joint


Kiss. Dr. Utku Erdem Özer Contact

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