Arthroscopy can be performed using general, spinal, regional, or local anesthetic.
What Is Arthroscopy ?
Arthroscopy (ahr-THROS-kuh-pee) is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. A surgeon inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a high-definition video monitor.
Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your joint without making a large incision. Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with pencil-thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.
What conditions are treated with arthroscopic surgery ?
Arthroscopic examination of joints is helpful in diagnosis and treatment of the following conditions :
- Inflammation: Synovitis, the inflammation of the lining of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
- Acute or chronic injury: Injuries to the shoulder, knee and wrist joint such as cartilage tears, tendon tears, carpal tunnel syndrome.
- Osteoarthritis: A type of arthritis caused by cartilage loss in a joint.
Removal of loose bodies of bone or cartilage that becomes logged within the joint.
How is arthroscopy performed ?
During arthroscopic surgery, a general, spinal, or a local anesthesia will be given depending on the condition. A small incision of the size of a buttonhole is made through which the arthroscope is inserted. Other accessory incisions will be made through which specially designed instruments are inserted. After the procedure is completed, arthroscope is removed and incisions are closed.
What are the possible complications associated with arthroscopy ?
Some of the possible complications after arthroscopy include infection, phlebitis (clotting of blood in vein), excessive swelling, bleeding, blood vessel, or nerve damage and instrument breakage.
What is the recovery process after arthroscopic surgery ?
It may take several weeks for the puncture wounds to heal and the joint to recover completely. A rehabilitation program may be advised for a speedy recovery of normal joint function. You can resume normal activities and go back to work within a few days. You may be instructed about the incision care, activities to be avoided, and exercises to be performed for faster recovery.
Will physical therapy be required after surgery ?
Getting a full range of motion, strength, and flexibility back after surgery usually takes time. That is where preoperative exercise, education, and postoperative physical therapy programs come in ? to ensure you are physically and emotionally prepared for surgery and to maximize your recovery after surgery.