to view an animated version of this procedure.
Arthroscopy is a surgery done to examine a joint visually. Most of the time, it is done on large joints like the knee or shoulder. A special tool called an arthroscope is used. It is an instrument that looks like a long tube with a miniature camera on the end. Repairs or corrections to the joint may be done by using the arthroscope and other tools.
Diagnostic Arthroscopy of the Right Knee
Arthroscopy can be done to diagnose an injury or a condition.
—your lower body will be numbed by putting a numbing medication in your back
Description of the Procedure
Tiny incisions will be made in the skin along the joint. Special tools will be inserted through the incisions. The tools include the arthroscope. The picture from the arthroscope will show up on a screen so that the inside of your joint can be viewed. The images may be used to move around other tools that can cut and repair tissue in your joint.
in the knee will be repaired by cutting and removing some of the cartilage.
Carpal tunnel syndrome
in the wrist may be treated by loosening the ligament that puts pressure on the nerves.
When the examination or surgery is done, the tools will be removed. The skin may be closed with stitches or clips. The incisions will be covered with a dressing. The fluid or tissue that was removed may be sent to a lab for examination.
How Long Will It Take?
Usually less than 1 hour, but this may be longer if repairs are being done.
Will It Hurt?
Anesthesia will prevent pain during surgery. Pain and discomfort after the procedure can be managed with medications.
The dressings can sometimes be removed as early as the next morning. When you return home after the procedure, do the following to help ensure a smooth recovery:
It may take 4-6 weeks for the joint to recover in a repair was done. A specific activity and rehabilitation program may be suggested. This will help speed your recovery and protect future joint function.
Athletes often return to athletic competition within a few weeks.
Repair of the
anterior cruciate ligament
(ACL) by arthroscope may require a recovery time of 4-6 months and a more specialized rehabilitation program.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if any of these occur:
Signs of infection, including fever and chills
Redness, swelling, increasing pain, excessive bleeding, or any discharge from the incision site
Persistent nausea or vomiting
Pain that you cannot control with the medications you were given
Cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain
Joint pain, fatigue, stiffness, rash, or other new symptoms
Swelling, tingling, pain, or numbness in your toes that is not relieved by elevating your knee above heart level for 1 hour
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
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