Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is performed by an orthopedic doctor to diagnose and treat problems in the joints. The procedure is commonly used on the knees, ankles, elbows, wrists, hips, and shoulders.
Let’s talk about what arthroscopic surgery is, its benefits, its possible side effects, and where you can go in West Jersey for world-class orthopedic care to help you get rid of that joint pain for good.
What Is Arthroscopy?
In this procedure, the surgeon inserts a narrow tube that has camera functionality at the end (this tool is called an arthroscope) through a small incision. The orthopedic surgeon can view real-time images of the inside of the joint as the picture is transmitted to a monitor in the operating room. This allows the surgeon to examine the joint and to repair the joint damage.
Some joint conditions that can be diagnosed and treated with arthroscopy include:
- Damaged cartilage
- Loose bone fragments
- Torn ligaments
- Torn tendons
- Inflamed joint linings
- Scar tissue within the joint
- Bone spurs
Why Would I Want to Have Arthroscopic Surgery?
Thanks to its minimally invasive nature, arthroscopic surgery has multiple advantages, including:
- Fewer stitches
- Less scarring
- Less trauma to healthy tissue
- Less risk of infection
- Less post-operative pain
- Swifter recovery
What Are the Side Effects of Arthroscopic Surgery?
As with any type of surgery, there’s a risk of complications. Before you have arthroscopic surgery, it’s crucial that you’re aware of these risks so that you’ll know how to prevent or treat them.
The possible side effects and complications of arthroscopy include:
Deep Vein Thrombosis and Blood Clots
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) is a blood clot that forms in a large vein deep inside a leg, arm, or another part of the body. It can cause pain, swelling, and redness in the affected limb.
The danger of DVT and any kind of blood clot is that the clot can break off and travel to the lungs, and cause a pulmonary embolism – which can be fatal if left untreated. You can help to prevent blood clots by moving around and not remaining in a stationary position during your recovery from arthroscopic surgery.
It’s true that there’s a lesser risk of infection with arthroscopic surgery than there is with traditional open surgery, but an infection certainly can occur. An infection can develop either around the incisions or within the joint. Antibiotics will usually suffice to treat an infection after having surgery.
Accidental damage to a nerve in or near the joint can lead to temporary or permanent numbness and loss of sensation in that area. However, because arthroscopic surgery is so precise, the risk of nerve damage is greatly reduced.
Swelling is a sign of inflammation, and it might persist after the surgery. Resting the joint, applying ice, using compression bandages, and elevating the extremity can help reduce swelling. Swelling that worsens could indicate an infection.
Joint stiffness can occur as a result of scar tissue formation in and around the joint or persistent joint swelling. It can be a frustrating source of discomfort and disability during recovery after arthroscopic surgery. Getting physical therapy can help to prevent or resolve excessive joint stiffness.
Arthroscopic Surgeon in Dover, New Jersey
Arthroscopic surgery is a very safe surgical procedure that’s often performed to treat joint problems. If you would like to have a consultation with an experienced orthopedic surgeon about what can be done to treat your joint pain, contact us at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey today.
To schedule an appointment, call us today at (973) 989-0888 or fill out our appointment request form now. We look forward to helping you get back to your active lifestyle!