Arthroscopy Q & A

What is arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed using an arthroscope—a small camera that is inserted into the joint. The arthroscope allows your surgeon to take a look at your affected area without making large incisions. Arthroscopic surgery is a safe and effective treatment technique that allows your doctor to address your joint problem without causing major trauma or tissue damage.

Arthroscopy is a diagnostic and treatment technique that allows your doctor to address a wide range of conditions, including:

  • Arthritis
  • Joint inflammation
  • Torn tendons and ligaments
  • Meniscal tears
  • Labral tears
  • Rotator cuff tears
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Loose bone or cartilage

Arthroscopy has a number of benefits over traditional surgery. Arthroscopic procedures are minimally invasive, which means your surgeon can examine, repair, and replace damaged parts of your joint without causing major trauma. Procedures like rotator cuff repair are less traumatic than traditional surgical techniques, resulting in less pain, less scarring, and quicker recovery times.

How do I know if I need an arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is appropriate for a wide range of conditions affecting the knee, shoulder, elbow, hip, wrist, and ankle. Although many joint problems respond to conservative methods of treatment and pain management such as physical therapy, certain conditions require more intensive treatment.

At Town Center Orthopaedic Associates, our team of orthopedists and physical therapists exhaust all conservative treatment options before recommending surgery. If your condition causes severe symptoms or doesn’t respond to conservative care, your doctor may recommend arthroscopy to further examine and treat your joint problem.

What happens during an arthroscopy procedure?

During arthroscopy, your orthopedic surgeon inserts the arthroscope through a small incision. They use the arthroscope to view any damage to your joint or surrounding structures. If appropriate, your surgeon then inserts several additional small instruments to correct or repair your condition. Once the procedure is complete, your surgeon closes your incisions, and you’re off to recovery.

What is the arthroscopy recovery period?

Aftercare or downtime depends on the specifics of your procedure. Depending on the location of your surgery, you may have to limit your activities for a few days or weeks. In most cases, recovery time is minimal. Common arthroscopy procedures like hip arthroscopy, shoulder arthroscopy, wrist arthroscopy, elbow arthroscopy, and knee arthroscopy take roughly six weeks for early healing. To help improve your recovery and prevent further complications, your doctor may recommend physical therapy.

To find out if arthroscopy is right for you or to schedule your appointment, call Town Center Orthopaedics any time at (571) 346-2411, or book online today.

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