Arthroscopic Surgery

What is arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure for diagnosing and treating joint problems. It enables the surgeon to see inside the joint without having to make a large incision. The benefits of this approach are that it is performed on an outpatient basis, results in a faster recovery and there is less visible scarring after the surgery.

What types of conditions are treated with arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions affecting the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, wrist and spine.

Conditions treated with arthroscopy include:

  • Damaged or torn cartilage
  • Torn ligaments
  • Tendon tears
  • Inflamed joint linings
  • Loose bone fragments
  • Scarring within a joint
  • Impingement syndrome (shoulder)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (wrist)
  • Spine stenosis
Arthroscopic surgery

How is arthroscopic surgery performed?

Arthroscopic surgery may be performed with general anesthesia, or a local anesthetic placed within the spine. During the surgery, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a narrow tube attached to a fiberoptic video camera (an arthroscope) through a small incision. The view inside your knee is seen by the surgeon on a high-definition monitor during the procedure.

The surgeon then inserts one or more small, specialized tools to perform the required procedure through other small incisions called portals. When the procedure is complete, they will remove the arthroscope and close the wound with stitches or a special adhesive.

Is arthroscopic surgery covered by insurance?

Most arthroscopic surgery procedures are covered by insurance and Medicare. Please contact our office to find out if your insurance plan covers this.

How quickly can I get back to my regular routine after arthroscopic surgery?

It can take between a week and several months to recover, depending on the arthroscopic procedure performed. For example, a knee arthroscopy can take longer for recovery than a wrist arthroscopy.

Are there any side effects with arthroscopic surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is generally very safe, but as with any surgical procedure there is a small chance of complications, which can include infection, blood clots, bleeding, nerve or blood vessel damage and an allergic reaction to anesthesia.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact West Coast Orthopedics.

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