Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive form of surgery aimed at examining and sometimes correcting joint problems. It is most commonly used to evaluate and treat problems in the shoulder or knee, though it can also be performed on other joints such as the elbow, hip, ankle, foot and wrist.
How it works
Arthroscopic surgery is performed by inserting a tiny camera and certain surgical tools through small, 1 to 2 centimeter incisions into the joint. This method minimizes risk and recovery time, giving arthroscopic surgery significant advantages over traditional open surgery.
The camera used during arthroscopy, called an arthroscope, allows doctors to view the joint on a video monitor. A special fluid may be injected in order to help visualize joint parts. This detailed view from the inside of the joint allows doctors to accurately diagnose injuries.
After making this diagnosis, further action can then be taken. Doctors can treat many injuries by removing bone chips or by cutting, removing, or sewing damaged tissues. For more serious injuries, doctors may determine that a traditional open surgery will be needed at a later time.
When all necessary procedures have been performed, the instruments are withdrawn, and the incisions are closed with staples, stitches, steri-strips, or surgical glue.
Arthroscopic surgery is often performed on an outpatient basis. Many patients make a full recovery within two weeks; however this depends on the patient´s age, physical condition, and the treatment received.
Benefits and risks
All surgeries carry certain risks, such as infection and problems with anesthesia. However, as a minimally invasive surgery, arthroscopy is relatively safe. It is important to know that Arthroscopic surgery can increase the risk of blot clots, so patients who are already at risk should talk to their doctors.
Recent studies have also shown that Arthroscopic surgery may not be effective osteoarthritis, however the evidence is controversial and options should be discussed on a case by case basis.
If you are at risk for one of these injuries or think you might have incurred one, contact Montvale Health Sport & Spine by calling 201-391-8282 for an evaluation and to learn if you are eligible for arthroscopic surgery.