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Arthroscopic Procedures

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows your doctor to look at the inside of a joint in your body through a thin viewing instrument called an arthroscope. The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). The term literally means “to look within the joint.

Arthroscopy allows your doctor to look at the joint surfaces and the surrounding soft tissues, such as tissue that connects bone to bone (ligaments) and the tough tissue that covers the ends of the bones at the joints (cartilage) and provides a cushion between the bones. This procedure can be used to diagnose a joint problem, perform surgery that repairs a joint problem, remove a loose or foreign body, or monitor a disease or the effectiveness of a treatment. Although the inside of nearly all joints can be viewed with an arthroscope, six joints are most frequently examined with this instrument. These include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. As engineers make advances in electronic technology and orthopaedic surgeons develop new techniques, other joints may be treated more frequently in the future.

During arthroscopy, the arthroscope is inserted into your joint through a small cut (incision) in the skin. The arthroscope has a light source and a video camera attached to it. Images from the camera can be seen on a video monitor. These magnified images provide a clear picture of your joint. A sample of joint tissue can be collected during arthroscopy for biopsy. If surgery is done, additional instruments will be inserted into your joint through other small incisions.

Some common conditions found through arthroscopy are:

Synovitis- Inflames lining (synovium) in Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Wrist or Ankle.
Injury- Acute and chronic

Shoulder- Rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome and recurrent dislocations.

Knee- Meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia (wearing or injury of cartilage cushion), and anterior cruciate ligament tears with instability.

Wrist – Carpal tunnel syndrome.

Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage – Knee, Shoulder, Elbow, Ankle, or Wrist.

Arthroscopic surgery has received a lot of public attention because it is an extremely valuable tool for all orthopaedic patients and is generally easier on the patient than “open” surgery. Most patients have their arthroscopic surgery as outpatients and are home several hours after the surgery. The small puncture wounds take several days to heal however, it takes several weeks for the joint to maximally recover. A specific activity and rehabilitation program may be suggested to speed your recover and protect future joint function.

It is not unusual for patients to go back to work or school or resume daily activities within a few days. Athletes and others who are in good physical condition may in some cases return to athletic activities within a few weeks. Remember, though, that people who have arthroscopy can have many different diagnoses and preexisting conditions, so each patient’s arthroscopic surgery is unique to that person. Recovery time will reflect that individuality.

Dr. Richard Weiner, Dr. Chaim Arlosoroff,  Dr. Steven Saslow, Dr. Andrew Schneider, Dr. Thomas Saylor and Dr. Alexander Lenard are among the best specialists in their field in arthroscopic procedures.

For more information about arthroscopic procedures please contact our office  and schedule an appointment with one of our specialists.