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Is Manipulation Under Anesthesia Considered Surgery?

If traditional pain relief methods are not working for your chronic pain, manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) may be a treatment option for you. This minimally invasive surgical procedure aims to relieve pain and stiffness in the joint area through a series of movements. Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg explains more about this process and how it can produce much-needed relief.

Manipulation under anesthesia (MUA) is designed to relieve pain and break up excessive scar tissue. This pain can be caused by muscle spasms, internal scarring from previous injuries or surgeries, joint misalignment, or inflammation. MUA can be a valuable asset in restoring your range of motion. Before the procedure, the patient will complete a series of examinations, like lab work and imaging tests. This process ensures that the target area has been correctly identified and that the patient can still benefit from the treatment.

What can patients expect during the procedure? MUA is most commonly performed under general anesthesia but other options, like local or spinal anesthetics may be used. The entire process generally takes about twenty minutes. Because this is a multidisciplinary treatment, it will be performed by at least two collaborating specialists in an outpatient surgical setting. Practitioners like orthopedic surgeons, chiropractors, and more that participate must have a certification in MUA. During the procedure, the team will move your stiff joint(s) into a full range of motion by stretching surrounding muscles and releasing the joint capsule. Low-intensity, repetitive stretches will help to break up internal scar tissue while high-velocity thrusts can break barriers to movement.

In most cases, recovery happens at home. Though patients will feel exhausted and sore, they will also experience an immediate difference in their range of motion. Rehabilitation is often prescribed and should begin as soon as possible. A specialized physical therapy program will typically begin within a week to 10 days to maintain progress.

It’s important to note that MUA is not for everyone. Those with diabetes, heart conditions, or advanced age should speak with a health professional about their best course of treatment. If you are interested in learning more, call Impact Medical Group of St. Petersburg at (727) 722-8103 or send a message to speak with our team.