Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to diagnose and treat issues affecting the knee and shoulder joints. Doctors use a small, fiber-optic camera called an arthroscope, which is inserted through tiny incisions, to get a clear view of the joint. This procedure is revolutionary in that it allows the doctor to see into the joint without having to make a large incision and open up the area.
We have created a guide that will provide a general overview of the procedure and help you learn more about it.
Arthroscopy provides many benefits for the patient, including:
- Accurate Diagnosis: Arthroscopy allows the clear visualization of the joint, which aids in diagnostic accuracy.
- Minimal Tissue Damage: Arthroscopy involves small incisions and the use of a tiny camera, which results in less tissue disturbance and damage, resulting in less pain for the patient and a faster recovery, since smaller incisions heal faster.
- Versatile Treatment: Surgeons can actually perform different techniques such as tissue repair and the removal of damaged tissue using arthroscopy. It is extremely versatile with many different applications.
- Faster Recovery: In many cases, arthroscopy can be performed on an outpatient basis, allowing patients to leave the facility on the same day to begin their recovery.
Arthroscopy requires pre-surgical planning just like any other surgical procedure. During consultation, the orthopedic surgeon will determine if you are a good candidate for arthroscopy by reviewing your medical history, current health, any diagnosis you’ve received in the past, if applicable, other treatments you’ve tried,as well as any allergies you may have. The doctor will also request tests and scans to assess the joint and determine if it can be treated using arthroscopy.
Your surgeon or their team will provide you with detailed preoperative instructions, and you need to follow them. These may include fasting, discontinuing certain medications, especially blood thinners, prior to the procedure, showering with special antiseptic soap on the day of the surgery, not using lotions or creams, and dressing in comfortable clothing.
The orthopedic surgeon will make small incisions and insert the arthroscope through one of these incisions to provide a clear view of the joint’s interior. Then, saline solution will introduced into the joint to expand the space and improve visibility. The surgeon will then examine the joint structures, identify any abnormalities and insert specialized surgical instruments to perform repairs, remove damaged tissue, and smooth rough surfaces. Once the procedure is complete, the surgeon will close the incisions and apply sterile dressing to protect them.
Recovery and Rehabilitation
Recovery from arthroscopy begins the moment you wake up from surgery. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions, such as how to care for your incision, how to manage pain, activity restrictions, and when to return for follow-up care. Follow these instructions carefully for a successful outcome and to minimize the risk of complications. Physical therapy is prescribed to help restore joint mobility, strength, and function. A licensed physical therapist will develop a customized rehabilitation program for you. The timeline for returning to normal activities varies depending on the individual, however, arthroscopy patients generally have a fast recovery.
Arthroscopy is a highly advanced procedure that not all orthopedic doctors are trained in. If you want great results from this treatment, you need to find an orthopedic surgeon that specializes in it.
Orthopedic Surgeon in Dover, NJ
The orthopedic surgeons at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey use arthroscopy regularly to diagnose and treat many orthopedic conditions affecting the shoulder and knee. We use arthroscopy to repair tendon, cartilage, ligament, and meniscus tears,as well as tendonitis and bursitis. We prefer this procedure as it is easier on the body and helps speed up recovery for our patients. Find out if you are a good candidate for arthroscopy today. Call our office at (973) 989-0888 or use our convenient online request form.