Orthopaedic Surgery

Arthroscopy

Introduction to Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure to look inside and repair joints. It is a thin telescope with a light source that is used to light up and magnify structure.

Written by Doctify Team 27/04/2020

What is an Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure to look inside and repair joints. An arthroscope is used to look inside joint. It is a thin telescope with a light source that is used to light up and magnify structure. The procedure may be done to investigate symptoms such as: swelling, pain or joint instability. It may show signs of cartilage or ligament damage within a joint and can also show signs of arthritis. Arthroscopic surgery can be used in a range of procedures, including: Taking out small bits of cartilage, removing damaged cartilage, repairing/ removing torn ligaments and removing inflamed tissue around the joint.
The majority of arthroscopic procedures (about 17 in 20) are done on the knee joint and approximately 2 in 20 are done on the shoulder joint. The rest are usually done on the ankle, elbow, wrist and hip.

Compared to the traditional surgery, arthroscopic surgery: reduces pain following the procedure, lowers the risk of complications, allowing for a quicker recovery and a shorter hospital stay.

How is an Arthroscopy performed?

This procedure is done under either local or general anaesthetic, depending on the joint being examined and other considerations. You will be asked to adopt a position that best suits the procedure. The surgeon then makes a small incision next to the joint and feeds the arthroscope into the incision. Another separate incision will be made for the surgeon to insert a thin examining probe, instruments used for surgery or fluid to flush out the joint. The arthroscope transmits images onto a screen so the surgeon can see inside the joint. When the procedure is finished the surgeon removes the arthroscope and stiches up and incisions that have been made. An ice pack may be applied to the area to reduce any swelling.

Arthroscopy

How to prepare for the procedure?

There is not much you can do to prepare for this procedure. The hospital performing the procedure will you inform of the preparations for general anaesthesia.

What happens after an Arthroscopy?

You are often allowed to go home shortly after the procedure. There are some rare complications after the procedure. You should see a doctor urgently if you experience: redness or swelling in the joint that gets worst, develop a fever, see fluid or blood coming out of the site of incision or develop numbness or tingling around the joint.

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