Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure used to visualize, examine and treat damaged joints. The surgeon uses an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision.
Conditions frequently diagnosed during an arthroscopic examination of a joint include:
- Inflammation in the lining of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
- Acute or Chronic Injuries
- Knee: torn cartilage (meniscus), chondromalacia (damaged to cartilage cushion), and ligament tears with instability
- Wrist: Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage inside a joint: knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist
- Shoulder: Rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome, recurrent dislocations
- Problems associated with arthritis
How is arthroscopy performed?
During an arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon makes a small incision and then inserts a pencil-sized instrument that contain a small fiber optic camera to view the structures inside the joint. Several other small incisions may be made to see other parts of the joint or insert other instruments.
The images are displayed on a television screen in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to examine tiny structures greatly magnified. Because the incisions are small, there is less trauma to the surrounding tissue. So, recovery time is reduced and there is less scarring than with conventional surgery.
Doylestown Hospital's orthopedic surgeons perform many arthroscopic procedures at the Doylestown Surgery Center located in the Health and Wellness Center by Doylestown Hospital in Warrington. Depending on the joint and your suspected problem, your overall health condition and medical needs, arthroscopy can also be performed in an operating room at Doylestown Hospital.
After arthroscopic surgery, the incisions are covered with a dressing, and many patients need little or no pain medications. Although the small incisions will generally heal in several days, it takes several weeks for the joint to maximally recover. Your doctor will recommend specific activity restrictions and a rehabilitation program to speed your recovery and protect you from future joint injury.