Also known as arthroscopy, arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure on a joint. Using an arthroscope, a small incision is made to insert the tube into the affected joint. This allows the surgeon to examine the injured joint through a fiber-optic video camera, which is located at the end of the tube. Through the arthroscope a picture is streamed onto a video monitor for the surgeon to view while he or she is performing surgery.
This type of surgery is most commonly used for joint conditions in your knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip and wrist. Arthroscopy helps increase the chances of an accurate diagnosis for your joint condition, and is typically used when other diagnostic procedures leave too many unanswered questions. It is also the best procedure to help with damaged cartilage, ligaments, joints and bone fragments, which are all hard diagnostics to pick up through other imaging processes.
Before the procedure, your doctor will ask you a series of questions. However, in order to ensure a successful procedure, you need to answer questions truthfully. Let your doctor know if you are taking any medicine for allergies or blood thinning, if you have bleeding problems, may be pregnant, had an X-ray in the past 10 days with contrast material, or history of joint stiffness or infection to the damaged joint. Your doctor may also have you take a blood or urine test before the procedure.
Additionally, make sure you have someone to drive you home post-procedure because depending on what joint the procedure is one you could be on crutches or in a sling.
Rest is the most important aspect of a post-arthroscopy recovery. Following the surgery, you must rest the affected joint for several days, consistently icing and elevating the affected area. Depending on the joint that was operated on, you may also not be able to drive for about 24 hours following the procedure.
If you are in need of an arthroscopic procedure, stop by Somerset Orthopedics & Sports Medicine. We perform knee, shoulder, ankle, and elbow arthroscopic surgeries for our patients who are in need. For a better quality of life, contact us today to make your appointment!