What is Arthroscopy?
An arthroscopy is a form of keyhole surgery used for the diagnosis and treatment of problems affecting joints.
Arthroscopy is a widely used surgical procedure, commonly utilised for ankle, hip, shoulder, wrist and elbow conditions and some forms of knee surgery.
The Arthroscopic Procedure
An arthroscopy is usually carried out under general anaesthetic but in some cases a local anaesthetic may be preferred. Your anaesthetist will discuss this with you.
The skin around the affected joint will be surgically cleaned and small incisions will be made as required.
An arthroscope – a slender instrument equipped with a tiny camera and a light is inserted into the joint and the images are transmitted to a television screen or eyepiece. Small surgical instruments are used to remove or shave material and to perform any required repairs inside the joint.
Once the procedure is complete, the arthroscope and other instruments and any excess fluid will be removed. The incisions will be closed with tape or stitches and dressed.
Surgery time varies with the type and extent of procedure. In most cases you will be allowed to return home on the same day or the following morning.
Advantages of Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy is an invaluable tool for orthopaedic surgeons and patients alike. It is easier on the patient than conventional “open” surgery and most cases can be treated as day surgery patients.
Techniques and instruments have been developed, allowing surgeons to perform more and more operations arthroscopically.
After your procedure, your vital signs will be monitored and you will be offered pain medication.
You may drink fluids straight away.
- Your limb may be raised for time and ice packs applied to reduce any swelling.
- If no further procedure is performed, you should be able to go home the same day.