Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed through an incision about the size of a buttonhole. An arthroscope is a small tube that contains a system of lenses, a video camera, and a light. This tube is inserted into the body to view and treat joint conditions, such as inflammation, tendon/cartilage/ligament tears, injured or worn out cartilage cushioning, or pieces of loose bone or cartilage.
Knees, shoulders, elbows, ankles, hips, and wrists are the joints most commonly examined using an arthroscope. The camera is connected to a monitoring system that enables the live feed of the injured joint to be displayed on a large screen. This allows your surgeon a clearer view of the joint and enables a more precise treatment plan.
Though individual surgeries vary, arthroscopic surgeries generally follow this process:
- A patient will receive a general, local, or spinal anesthetic.
- A small incision is made.
- The arthroscope is inserted through the incision.
- Additional incisions may be made for other surgical tools.
- Light is transmitted at the end of the arthroscope.
- Footage of and information about the interior of the joint is transmitted to a screen.
- If needed, corrective surgery may be performed during the diagnostic procedure.
- The incisions are closed and bandages and/or dressings are applied.
Arthroscopic surgery is most often an outpatient procedure, allowing patients to recover in the comfort and safety of their own homes. It has proven to be an effective tool in treating damaged joints and helping patients return to an active lifestyle.
Milan M. DiGiulio, M.D. offers comprehensive orthopedic care for you and your entire family, specializing in Sports Medicine and arthroscopic surgery of the shoulder and knee. Dr. DiGiulio performs over 200 arthroscopic shoulder and knee surgeries each year, using the most advanced surgical technology. Dr. DiGiulio is an advocate of non-invasive, non-surgical treatment options such as Physical Therapy and Orthobiologics.