What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure doctors use to diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. Your surgeon will make a small incision and insert a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, into your joint. The arthroscope allows them to view the inside of the joint on a screen. The surgeon can then investigate a problem with the joint and, if necessary, correct the issue using small instruments.
Why would you need Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy procedure diagnoses and treats a variety of joint conditions, most commonly affecting the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist.
If X-rays and other imaging study results are not satisfactory and do not produce any conclusive evidence, arthroscopy is done.
Conditions treated with Arthroscopy include:
- Loose bone fragments
- Damaged or torn cartilage
- Inflamed joint linings
- Torn ligaments
- Scarring within joints
- Cleaning joint infections
What are the beneﬁts of Arthroscopy?
The equipment used during an arthroscopy is small, so only small incisions in the skin and surrounding soft tissues are needed. It has some advantages over traditional, “open” surgery, including:
- Less pain after the operation
- Faster healing time
- Lower risk of infection
- You can often go home the same day
- You may be able to return to normal activities more quickly
How do you prepare for Arthroscopy?
You will undergo different tests beforehand to ensure you are healthy enough for the procedure.
These will include:
- Blood Tests
- Review of your medical history
- Physical examination to assess joint motion, stability, and strength
Our team will provide you with a complete set of instructions about preparing yourself for surgery. These could include:
- Not eating or drinking anything before the surgery for 8 hours or more
- Having someone to stay with you immediately after surgery
- Your doctor might ask you to stop taking certain medications and supplements
- Arrange for a ride home
What does the procedure involve?
Before the procedure
You first change into the hospital gown. The healthcare worker inserts an IV line for injecting medication and fluids through your vein.
You will be given an intravenous antibiotic before, during, and after the procedure to help prevent post-surgical infection.
Different types of anesthesia, as per the procedure, are administered by your doctor.
- Local anesthesia numbing agents are injected below the skin to block sensation in a limited area, such as your knee. You will be awake during your arthroscopy. You will feel a pressure or a movement sensation within the joint.
- General anesthesia, which means you will not be conscious before and during the surgery
- Spinal anesthesia, which leaves you awake but unable to feel pain from your waist down
During the procedure
You will lie on your back or your side. The concerned limb will be placed in a positioning device. If you are awake, you may be able to watch the procedure on a monitor. The surgeon will begin by making a few small incisions on your joint. One small incision is made for the arthroscope. Sterile saline is pumped into the joint. Saline makes it easier for the surgeon to see inside the joint. Additional small incisions at
different points around the joint allow the surgeon to insert surgical tools to grasp, and shave, and provide suction as needed for joint repair.
The surgeon drains the saline from your joint and Incisions will be small enough to be closed with one or two stitches, or with narrow strips of sterile adhesive tape.
After the procedure
You are brought to the recovery room to recover for a few hours before going home.
You might need to use temporary braces or slings or crutches for comfort and protection. Your doctor will prescribe physical therapy and rehabilitation to help strengthen your muscles and improve the function of your joint.
Our team will provide the report of the procedure, discharge medications, and follow up appointment details.