Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive, small-incision surgical technique used by orthopedic specialists to both diagnose and treat knee, shoulder, and other joint problems. If your doctor is recommending that you have an arthroscopic procedure, you probably want to know what it involves and whether it’s a suitable treatment for you.
Here’s information about how arthroscopy works and some of its many benefits.
How Arthroscopic Surgery Works
Orthopedic surgeons use arthroscopy to diagnose and treat numerous joint conditions. This technique is called minimally invasive (as opposed to open) because it employs regional (spinal) or local anesthetic, small incisions, and tiny irrigating and cutting instruments. With arthroscopy, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a miniaturized video camera into the joint, so the interior of the operated joint can be visualized in real-time.
Over the years, many new surgical repairs and revisions have become possible due to the innovative processes of arthroscopy. Most commonly, the technique can repair cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons, remove painful bone spurs, and treat fractures and even tendonitis.
An arthroscopic procedure is well tolerated by a wide range of patients of all ages and backgrounds. Patients can get their surgeries done and return home the very same day.
Benefits of Arthroscopy
Besides being a quicker, same-day surgery with small incisions and limited suturing, orthopedic arthroscopy offers these advantages:
- Excellent visualization of the operated joint and areas which need repair or revision
- Accuracy of diagnosis and treatment made possible by the sharp, clear imaging of interior joint structures
- Less cutting, less tissue disruption, and therefore, less post-operative pain and swelling
- Far less chance of complications, such as infection
- Less pain after surgery
- Quicker and more complete healing (patients return to their daily activities within days to weeks rather than weeks to months)
- Smaller, less obvious scars
- Less disruption of healthy, functional tissue (skin, muscle, connective tissues, and nerves) within the operated joint
- Reduced need for pain medications (as compared to open orthopedic surgeries)
All in all, both healthcare providers and patients find arthroscopy less daunting than their injury, degenerative condition, or more invasive surgical options. Your orthopedic surgeon in Dover, NJ, will tell you if you need surgery, what kind would serve you best, and what your recovery will look like. As with any surgery, arthroscopy typically involves some physical therapy (both at home and at the clinic) to minimize swelling, speed healing, and improve the functionality of the operated joint.
Learn More About Arthroscopy at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey
At our state-of-the-art office in Dover, NJ, our three board-certified surgeons–Dr. Joel Spielman, Dr. Louis Bouillon, and Dr. Steven Stecker – deliver state-of-the-art solutions for numerous musculoskeletal conditions, including those related to athletics and workplace injuries.
To learn more about arthroscopic surgery, call us for a friendly, informative consultation:(973) 989-0888, or request an appointment online. We look forward to helping you achieve the movement you deserve in the speediest, most effective way possible.