Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that uses small incisions and special instruments designed to work in small spaces. The arthroscope is a long, flexible instrument with a tiny camera mounted on the end. The surgeon advances the arthroscope into the joint space through a small incision, projecting images from inside the joint onto a monitor where they can be easily visualized. Surgical procedures can also be used using the camera and monitor. Because it uses smaller incisions than traditional surgical techniques, there is less damage to surrounding tissues and patients tend to experience less pain and faster recovery.
Arthroscopic surgery begins with several small incisions – typically three – near the joint. Once incision is used to admit the arthroscope and camera and additional incisions are used to permit access for surgical instruments. Before any surgical procedure is performed, saline solution is injected into the joint space to help enlarge the area and make it easier to view. Once the procedure is completed, the instruments are removed and the incisions are closed with a few sutures, surgical adhesive or staples. Arthroscopic procedures can also be performed to evaluate a joint to determine if surgery or other types of treatment are necessary.
Recovery from arthroscopic surgery is much more than recovery from traditional surgery that uses larger incisions. Most patients take a few weeks for full recovery, but your recovery period will depend on the extent of the damage or injury to your joint. Physical therapy following surgery can help restore strength and flexibility so you recover more quickly.
Feel free to email us regarding any scheduling or general questions!