Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used by surgeons to examine, identify, and treat problems inside a joint. During the procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision and inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera whereby the view inside the patient’s joint is transmitted to a high-definition video monitor.
Since the procedure is a minor surgery, it is done on an outpatient basis, which means an individual can go home the same day. Arthroscopy may be recommended if one has inflammation in a joint, has injured a joint, or has damaged a joint over time.
A number of joint disorders are diagnosed and treated by doctors using arthroscopy, most frequently those involving the following:
While there are dangers with every procedure, arthroscopic surgery is classified as a safe procedure. However, if complications do occur, they could be nerve injury, infection, or blood clots.
The orthopedic surgeon will go over all of this with the patient before the procedure to make sure he/she understands it well.
According to orthopedic surgeons, the procedure is recommended for patients who have already unsuccessfully tried nonsurgical treatments like medication, physical therapy, or injections.
Before the procedure, anesthesia is administered so that the patient won’t feel any pain or discomfort. The type of anesthesia to be given will depend on the joint and what the doctor suspects is the problem.
To expand the area and improve the view inside the joint, the doctor fills the joint with a sterile fluid.
One small incision is made to accommodate the viewing device. More small incisions are made at different points around the joint through which the surgeon will insert surgical instruments to grasp, cut, grind, and apply suction as necessary for joint repair.
Upon completion, the doctor will remove the arthroscope and any attachments and then close the wound with stitches.