Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that allows your doctor to examine and treat the inside of a joint. Your doctor uses an arthroscope — a thin tube about the size and shape of a pencil with a light and a camera on its tip.
When your surgeon inserts the arthroscope through a small incision into your joint, it transmits images from inside your body to a screen in the treatment room. This allows your surgeon to examine your joint without having to make a large incision in your body.
Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine uses arthroscopic surgery to diagnose and treat injuries and diseases in any joint. For example, they can repair anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or rotator cuff tears, remove loose bodies or debris, or perform a carpal tunnel release.
While arthroscopic surgery is safer than traditional open surgery, you still need anesthesia to stay comfortable and asleep during the operation.
Your surgeon begins by making a small incision near your joint and inserting the arthroscope. They then inject a small amount of clear fluid to create space in your joint, allowing more precise images.
After examining your joint to confirm your diagnosis and the treatment plan, your surgeon makes a few more small incisions around your joint, so they can insert additional surgical instruments to complete your procedure.
When the necessary repairs are completed, your surgeon removes the arthroscope and other devices and closes your incisions with sutures. They bandage your joint and send you to recovery.
In most cases, a friend or family member can drive you home after the anesthesia wears off and your surgeon has reviewed the aftercare instructions.
Most patients experience some post-surgery discomfort, but you should be able to manage any pain with ice and over-the-counter painkillers.
You also have physical therapy following your arthroscopic surgery to rebuild strength, flexibility, and stability in your joint.
Arthroscopic surgery usually has quicker recovery times than traditional open surgery. The small incisions create less trauma to the surrounding tissue than the large incision needed during conventional open surgery.
Additionally, there’s less scarring and a lower risk of infection. You should be able to get back to your regular activities reasonably quickly.
If you need an expert orthopaedic surgeon with experience in arthroscopy, call Beaufort Orthopaedic Sports & Spine or make an appointment online today.