If you’re experiencing pain, movement restrictions, and other symptoms of a joint problem that aren’t responsive to any type of nonsurgical intervention, your orthopedic surgeon may recommend an arthroscopy—a minimally invasive surgical procedure for examining, diagnosing, and treating joint problems.
Here’s what you need to know about joint arthroscopy, particularly what the surgery involves and what you can expect during the procedure.
What Does Arthroscopy Involve?
Arthroscopy involves inserting a thin, flexible, tubular instrument with a fiber-optic video camera on its tip (arthroscope) through a small incision, about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is then projected onto a high-definition video monitor, thereby allowing your orthopedic surgeon to navigate inside the joint and examine it for any problems.
Arthroscopy is commonly performed on the knee, ankle, hip, wrist, and shoulder to address the following problems:
- Synovitis- This is a condition that causes the tissues surrounding a joint to become inflamed.
- Recurrent shoulder dislocation
- Rotator cuff tears
- Ligament tears
- Meniscal tears
- Loose bone fragments
Unlike traditional open joint surgeries, joint arthroscopy involves less time under anesthesia, a lower risk of infections, and fewer sutures. There is less rehabilitation required as well, with most people returning to work and driving within three weeks following their surgery.
What Happens During an Arthroscopy?
Joint arthroscopy is most often an outpatient procedure. The type of anesthesia your orthopedic surgeon will use will depend on your preference: it can be performed using local, spinal, regional, or general anesthesia.
Once you are anesthetized and comfortable, your orthopedic surgeon will then start creating incisions, approximately a quarter of an inch each, on either side of the joint. They will then proceed with inserting the arthroscope through the incision. After that, they will fill your joint with sterile fluid to irrigate and dilate it and allow for better visualization.
Your surgeon will then look inside your joint. Once your surgeon identifies the problem, they will then proceed with performing the surgery. They will create additional incisions to make way for the special, miniature tools, which they will use to cut, grasp, and anchor stitches into the bone.
Once done, your surgeon will then remove the arthroscope and attachments, then close the incision using special tape or sutures.
Joint Arthroscopy in Merriam, KS
At Midwest Orthopaedics, our board-certified orthopedic surgeons specialize in arthroscopy and joint replacement procedures, and they combine their surgical acumen with the latest medical technology to provide patients with the best treatment outcomes.