When you have a joint condition, arthroscopy is an alternative to traditional open surgery. It allows a surgeon to see problems inside a joint. In the United States, about 1.77 million arthroscopic procedures are performed yearly.
The procedure uses an arthroscope — a small tube equipped with a small video camera and a light for viewing.
- At Silicon Valley Orthopaedics, located in Fremont, Menlo Park, and Los Gatos, California, the medical team consisting of George Thabit, III, MD, Nic Gay, MD, Masi Reynolds, DO, and April Mancuso, MD, perform arthroscopy for many joint conditions.
- Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure, meaning you have small incisions, less blood loss, and little scarring as a result of surgery. Your recovery time is quicker than with open surgery, so you can get back to life and activities you enjoy.
- Read on to learn what to expect during arthroscopy and when the procedure may be recommended by our surgical team.
- The arthroscope has greatly advanced surgical techniques. The instrument is about the width of a pencil, and the attached camera and light illuminate a surgical site so it can be seen on a video screen in the operating room. When treatment is needed, our team can insert small instruments into the joint area for grasping, probing, and cutting.
The view provided by the camera allows our team to see all of the soft tissues, including cartilage and ligaments. Then, we determine the type and extent of your injury and repair or correct it when needed.
What you’ll experience
During arthroscopy, you’ll receive general or local anesthesia. Some people receive spinal anesthesia. Our team makes a small incision in your skin, and the arthroscope is inserted. They make other small incisions to insert other surgical tools.
You’ll have dressings placed on the small puncture wounds created by the arthroscope and accompanying instruments. It takes several days or a few weeks for these to fully heal.
Complete healing from your procedure depends on the condition treated. You may require physical therapy to restore the full function of the joint.
Reasons for arthroscopy
Arthroscopy can repair tissue at the joints, including bones, cartilage, muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Usually, arthroscopy is ordered only after an extensive exam that includes imaging tests, such as X-rays and MRIs. We have these imaging tools onsite at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics.
Arthroscopy is a potential treatment for:
- Rotator cuff tendon tears
- Shoulder impingement
- Meniscal tears in the knee
- Shoulder dislocation
- Chondromalacia, a problem with the knee cartilage
- Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears
- Carpal tunnel syndrome in the wrist
- Bone spurs or loose bodies in the hip or elbow
- Some problems associated with arthritis
Arthroscopy can also treat inflammation in cases of synovitis of the shoulder, knee, elbow, wrist, or ankle joint. Synovitis is a condition in which the lining of the joint is inflamed.
- If you’re experiencing joint pain, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team at Silicon Valley Orthopaedics by calling or using this website. We offer non-invasive and minimally-invasive treatment to help you feel better and get back to the activities you love.