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Arthroscopic Surgery

How does arthroscopic surgery work?

Arthroscopic surgery is a procedure by which the internal structure of a joint is diagnosed and/or treated using a tube-like viewing instrument called an arthroscope. This instrument allows your surgeon to view the interior of the joint on a large television monitor in the operating room. The size of the arthroscope varies with the size of the joint being examined. There are arthroscopes as small as 0.5 millimeters in diameter to examine small joints such as the wrist.

During arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon will make a small incision on the side of the joint to be examined, and the arthroscope will be inserted into the incision. Other instruments can also be placed in another small incision to help maneuver certain structures into the view of the arthroscope. Sometimes, additional instruments are inserted into the joint through the arthroscope. These instruments can be used to cut, remove, and repair damaged tissues.

Injuries That May Require Arthroscopic Surgery

Common injuries for which arthroscopy is considered include cartilage tears (meniscus tears), ligament strains and tears, and cartilage deterioration underneath the kneecap.

Arthroscopy is commonly used in the evaluation of knee and shoulder injuries, but can also be used to examine and treat conditions of the wrist, ankles, and elbows. Recently, repair of crevasses in the cartilage, using a “paste” of a patient’s own cartilage cells that have been harvested and grown in the laboratory, has been performed using an arthroscope.

If you and your doctor decide upon arthroscopic surgery, it will most likely be performed as an outpatient procedure. As a part of Hoag Orthopedic Institute’s commitment to a greater standard of service, you will find an impressive one-to-one or one-to-two nurse to patient ratio in outpatient surgery. The quality of care at HOI is one of the reasons top notch orthopedic surgeons, recognized for expertise in arthroscopic surgery, have aligned their practices with us.

Helping You Recover from Arthroscopic Surgery

After surgery, your surgeon and a member of our physical therapy team will determine an exercise program for you that will gradually strengthen the muscles surrounding the joint and prevent scarring (contracture) of surrounding soft tissues. The goal is to recover stability and strength of the joint rapidly and safely, while preventing the build-up of scar tissue. This program is an essential part of the recovery process for an optimal outcome of this procedure.

If you are interested in learning more about the services that we offer, please do not hesitate to contact us today. Hoag Orthopedic Institute is nationally recognized.