Arthroscopy

Minimally invasive examination of joint conditions, as well as treatment with arthroscopic surgery

Although our doctors use imaging tests like X-rays and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to see inside the body, we sometimes need to get a closer view than these options can provide.

In these cases, we turn to arthroscopy. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that we use to evaluate, diagnose, and treat joint problems.

How does arthroscopy work?

We use a small tool called an arthroscope in an arthroscopy. An arthroscope is about the size of a pencil or a drinking straw, and it includes a light and video camera.

The surgeon makes a small incision in the skin near the joint being examined and inserts the arthroscope. The arthroscope gives the surgeon a clear view of the joint’s surfaces and surrounding tissues, like ligaments and tendons.

Arthroscopic surgery

Arthroscopic surgery involves performing surgery with the help of the arthroscope, not just looking at the joint. In an arthroscopic surgical procedure, the surgeon may make a few more small incisions in addition to the one for the arthroscope. This allows the surgeon to use specially designed small instruments to operate on the joint through the miniature incisions.

Arthroscopic surgery has many advantages compared to traditional joint surgery, including:

  • Faster recovery
  • Less bleeding
  • Less pain
  • Shorter or no hospital stay

How we use arthroscopy and arthroscopic surgery

We usually perform arthroscopy and arthroscopic surgery for shoulder conditions, knee problems, or ankle issues. But we also can use these procedures for problems of the hip, elbow, or wrist.

Some examples of conditions we treat with arthroscopic surgery include hip impingement and rotator cuff tears.

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