Arthroscopy is a procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems.
Arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside your joint without making a large incision. Surgeons can even repair some types of joint damage during arthroscopy, with pencil-thin surgical instruments inserted through additional small incisions.
A surgeon inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiber-optic video camera through a small incision — about the size of a buttonhole. The view inside your joint is transmitted to a high-definition video monitor.
The type of anesthesia used varies by procedure (Local anesthesia, Regional anesthesia or General anesthesia).
The Benefits of Arthroscopy
Lower Risk of Complications: The smaller incisions made during an arthroscopic procedure mean that there is a lower chance of an infection.
Faster Recovery Time: Your incisions will heal within a day or two of your operation and you will likely be able to return to your daily activities shortly afterward. Arthroscopy is almost always performed as an outpatient procedure.
Less Post-Operative Pain: Alongside a faster recovery, arthroscopic surgery often results in less pain during the first few days following the procedure.
An arthroscopy might be recommended if you have problems such as persistent joint pain, swelling or stiffness, and scans have not been able to identify the cause.
An arthroscopy can also be used to treat a range of joint problems and conditions. For example, it can be used to:
- repair damaged cartilage
- remove fragments of loose bone or cartilage
- drain away any excess fluid
- treat conditions such as Arthritis, frozen shoulder