What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

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According to the Arthroscopy Association of North America (AANA), arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed through small incisions using an arthroscope — a long narrow tube with a fiber-optic video camera attached that is illuminated by a light. By using this specialized tool, orthopedic surgeons can get a better view of the joint and surrounding areas to diagnose the injury or condition and create a treatment plan.

Click Cedaorthopedicgroup.com, a medical leader in orthopedic treatments and pain management, has helped thousands of patients with joint conditions. If you are experiencing severe joint pain or have sustained a joint injury, they recommend seeking the assistance of a physician to identify and treat your joint condition. With proper treatment, hopefully, you can return to your exercise routine and perform regular outdoor activities.

About the Surgery

Arthroscopy is a minor surgery performed on an outpatient basis, which means the patient can go home the same day. Your doctor may recommend the procedure if you have inflammation in a joint, have sustained an injury, or have damaged a joint over time. Arthroscopic surgery can be performed on any joint, such as the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, or wrist.

The procedure will require anesthesia. The dosage will depend on the joint and where your surgeon suspects the problem is located. This may include the administration of general anesthesia (the patient is fully asleep), or local anesthesia (where the operation site is numbed and the patient is fully conscious). An orthopedic surgeon will then insert an arthroscope through a small incision to see inside the joint. The fiber-optic video camera projects a live image of the joint onto a screen for the surgeon to examine.

Diagnosing a Joint Condition or Injury

After examining the inside of the joint, your surgeon will diagnose the problem and decide what type of surgery you require. If you need an operation, your surgeon will use other specialized tools inserted into small incisions called “portals.” However, if your surgeon decides the joint issue requires traditional open surgery, they may do so at the same time as the arthroscopic surgery.

After the procedure is complete, the arthroscope is removed as well as any other attachments or devices. The wound is then closed with special tape or stitches.

Patients with the following conditions may need arthroscopic surgery:

  • Loose bone fragments
  • Damaged or torn cartilage
  • Inflamed joint linings
  • Torn ligaments
  • Scarring within joints

The Benefits of Arthroscopy

According to Cleveland Clinic, arthroscopy is a safe, effective way for healthcare providers to examine joints, muscles, ligaments, and tendons and to perform treatments. This procedure can treat all types of joint and ligament problems using very small incisions. When compared to open surgery, the benefits of arthroscopic surgery include a faster recovery rate, less pain, minimal blood loss, and little to no scarring.

Post-Surgery Care and Treatment

After the procedure, you should be able to go home the same day after a waiting period of a couple of hours. However, it’s important to keep in mind that not every patient’s recovery is going to be the same. Some arthroscopic surgeries may require a longer recovery period than others. Your surgeon will then review the findings of the arthroscopy with you as soon as possible and may send a document of the diagnosis and how the problem was corrected, including post-surgery treatment options for pain.