Dr. Rieber is a strong advocate of minimally invasive surgical techniques, including knee arthroscopy for ACL tears and meniscal tears, and shoulder arthroscopy for rotator cuff and labral tears, to get athletes back on the field as fast as possible. Through arthroscopy, Dr. Rieber can help get athletes back to their previous levels of activity much more quickly when compared to traditional open surgical techniques.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which surgeons are able operate on a joint without making a large and potentially damaging incision. Because it does not require a large incision, scarring is significantly reduced, so arthroscopy is ideal for treating athletes and sports injuries as it affords a much shorter post-operative recovery period when compared to traditional, open joint surgery.
To perform an arthroscopic procedure, the orthopedic surgeon makes two small incisions in the affected joint. Through the first incision, an arthroscope (a miniature camera that sends real-time images to a computer screen from within the joint) is inserted. In the second incision, the surgeon inserts surgical instruments that are approximately pencil-sized, to perform the operation. The surgeon is guided by the arthroscope, which allows him to see the entire joint without splaying open the knee or shoulder, and so typically results in less blood loss, reduced post-operative pain, shorter recovery time, and minimal scarring.
Knee Arthroscopy for ACL Tears
Knee arthroscopy is usually performed to treat a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The ACL helps restrain the knee and control movement and tear when stretched beyond its normal limit. This can happen by twisting the knee outside normal range of motion or by pivoting incorrectly on a planted foot. When the ACL tears, the patient may hear a "pop" and feel that the knee has "given out", followed by significant pain, inflammation, and swelling.
Knee arthroscopy is a common solution to treat a torn ACL and allows an orthopedic surgeon to operate on the knee without making a large incision. ACL reconstructive surgery effectively restores strength and stability to the knee, and allows athletes to return to the playing field quickly, often with relatively little compromise in mobility or strength.
Shoulder Arthroscopy for Rotator Cuff Tears
The rotator cuff is composed of four muscles in the shoulder that help stabilize and support to the joint and allows the shoulder to rotate, as well as hold the humerus (upper arm bone) in place. The muscles in the rotator cuff also help lift and rotate the arm and stabilize the ball within the joint.
The rotator cuff can be injured through repetitive motion, such as pitching a baseball or serving in tennis. Because the shoulder is a relatively unstable joint, trauma to the shoulder can easily result in damage to the rotator cuff. If it is torn, significant pain will arise and arthroscopic surgery may be indicated. Shoulder arthroscopy can help alleviate the pain, discomfort, and lost function associated with a torn rotator cuff.
Minimally Invasive Expert in New Jersey
With offices in Livingston, NJ, and Newark, NJ, Dr. Michael Rieber is one of the area's foremost arthroscopic experts and sports medicine surgeons. He served a Fellowship at Hershey Medical Center of Hershey, PA, and is a member of the Arthroscopy Association of North America, as well as the American College of Sports Medicine. He currently serves as the team orthopedic surgeon for the Newark Bears baseball team, and has served previously as team physician for the New York / New Jersey Metrostars, as well as the The New Jersey Devil's™.