We specialize in a wide range of Orthopedic Treatments.
Arthroscopy is a simple procedure that allows a doctor to see the inside of a problematic joint. It is primarily used as a diagnostic procedure when x-rays, ultrasound, and other imaging studies do not provide enough information about the cause of pain, loss of range of motion, or other common joint issues. An arthroscopic procedure can also be used as a treatment to correct minor problems that do not require a more invasive surgery.
- Most commonly used on the joints of the wrist, ankle, knee, hip, and shoulder.
- These five joints often experience overuse injuries, sprains, strains, arthritis, and fractures.
How Arthroscopy is Performed
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure during which our doctors make a small incision near the affected joint in your wrist, ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder. You will receive local, regional, or general anesthesia, depending on the duration and type of procedure you need. The incision allows a long, thin and flexible piece of tubing to be inserted into the body. The piece of tubing has a fiber optic video camera attached to one end. This camera transmits video images so that the doctor can see inside of the joint and diagnose conditions such as infections, arthritis, and inflammation.
Why Arthroscopy is Recommended
Our doctors may recommend arthroscopy if imaging studies such as x-rays do not answer all of the questions about why you are experiencing pain or dysfunction of a joint. You may also be recommended for the arthroscopy procedure if you have a joint with a minor problem such as a loose bone fragment that can be repaired through this technique. Arthroscopy can also be used to rule out more serious conditions, such as bone cancer.
You may need to have an arthroscopy if you have persistent pain in your wrist, ankle, knee, hip, or shoulder. If you know that you have arthritis but your pain is worsening, you may need to have the procedure done so that the doctor can see if you have lost more cartilage or if there is an increase in inflammation. Our doctors may also recommend an arthroscopic procedure if you have experienced an injury but x-rays do not reveal a fracture. Athletes may have the procedure performed after a soft tissue injury so the extent of the injury can be revealed. The arthroscopy can reveal torn ligaments, damaged or torn cartilage, and infections of the joint lining.
What to Expect After Arthroscopy
After the arthroscopy, you will rest in a recovery room for a few hours. The doctor may recommend rest, ice, elevation, and compression of the area where the procedure was performed. You may feel sore for a few days. The doctor may recommend a prescription or over-the-counter pain reliever for pain management. You should be able to get back to light physical activities about a week after arthroscopy, and resume heavy activities after about four weeks.