Arthroscopic surgery offers a safe and minimally invasive way to diagnose joint problems, relieve pain and restore or improve range of motion.
A popular treatment option for problems with the knees, hips, shoulders, elbows, ankles and wrists, this procedure allows your surgeon to see inside your joint for accurate diagnosis. Even better, it facilitates the repair of many types of injuries or damages without making a large incision.
When Is Arthroscopy Necessary?
If you have persistent joint pain and stiffness or problems with mobility, most doctors will employ diagnostic procedures like X-rays, CAT scans or MRIs in an effort to pinpoint the problem. If these methods can’t provide a clear answer to the cause of your joint problems, your physician may recommend arthroscopic surgery.
Surgeons also often advise arthroscopy to treat certain diagnosed conditions like damaged or torn cartilage or ligaments, loose bone fragments, infection, excess fluid or scarring in the joint.
Minimally Invasive Surgery
Many medical professionals prefer this type of surgery over traditional surgery, as it is less invasive and provides a much easier, quicker recovery for the body.
During this procedure, tiny incisions are made near the joint, through which a small tube is inserted. A fiber-optic video camera and tools can be fed through the tube to evaluate the tissue and make necessary repairs.
Because the required incisions are quite small, patients typically experience a faster healing time and less pain after the surgery. And many arthroscopic procedures are done on an outpatient basis, with patients returning home several hours after the operation.
Most patients also are able to resume their normal activities more quickly, often within just a few days. Following surgery, a physical therapy or rehabilitation program may be recommended to speed recovery and restore joint mobility.
Arthroscopic Surgery Provides a Safer Alternative
According to the National Institutes of Health, arthroscopic surgery is a safe procedure that typically results in fewer complications and faster recovery than traditional surgery. But, like every surgical procedure, arthroscopy does carry some risks.
Patients may experience joint pain or stiffness following the procedure, and swelling or bleeding may occur, albeit rarely. Other complications, including infection, blood clots and damage to nerves, joints or tissues, are quite rare. According to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, complications occur in less than 1 percent of all arthroscopic surgeries.
Would you like to learn more about the benefits of arthroscopy? Schedule a consultation with the experts at Steward Health Care: Centers of Orthopedic & Sports Medicine in West Jordan, Utah, to discuss arthroscopic surgery and other treatment options for your joint problems.