Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure orthopaedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. An arthroscopic procedure allows the surgeon to treat your condition or injury by making a couple of small incisions, about the size of a buttonhole, thus avoiding large painful incisions previously associated with many orthopaedic surgeries. The arthroscope, a special camera and lens, is inserted into one of the incisions, and allows the surgeon to view the inside of your joint on a television screen during the procedure. Other small incisions are made in which the surgeon inserts small arthroscopic instruments to perform the surgery.
Most Common Arthroscopic Procedures
Although the inside of nearly all joints can be viewed with an arthroscope, six joints are most frequently examined with this instrument. These include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Some of the most frequent arthroscopic surgical procedures include:
Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery
The benefits of arthroscopy involve smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.