Arthroscopic surgery is a type of surgery frequently used by orthopaedic surgeons to see, diagnose, and treat joint problems. While your surgeon will gather a thorough medical history, perform a physical examination and order x-rays and possible additional tests like an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or a CT (computed tomography) arthroscopic surgery can help your orthopaedic surgeon at Elmhurst Orthopaedics make a definitive diagnosis and treatment plan for you joint injuries caused by injuries or diseases to the bone, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. These may include:
Inflammation (Synovitis) in the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist or ankle
Injury (acute and chronic) to these primary joints-
- Shoulder — rotator cuff, impingement syndrome, and recurrent dislocations
- Knee — meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia (wearing and injury of cartilage cushion), and anterior cruciate ligament tears
- Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee or ankle
How is Arthroscopic Surgery Performed?
During arthroscopic surgery, your board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Elmhurst Orthopaedics will make a small incision, generally the size of a buttonhole, in order to insert the arthroscope in to your joint area. The arthroscope has a small lens attached to it that lights up the structures of your joint. The whole device is attached to a television camera so that your orthopaedic surgeon can see the joint to better understand the extent of the damage that has been caused by either injury or disease. Using similar instruments through the same incision sites, your surgeon will then repair the damage to the affected area by cutting and removing the torn tissue, cartilage and/or bone fragments.
By accessing your joint this way, your orthopaedic surgeon can diagnose and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. This includes determining if you will need more extensive “open surgery.” which will either be performed while you are still anesthetized, or it will be performed on another day.
What is the Recovery Time Like?
Because arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery, it is generally easier on a patient’s body and permits them to go home a few hours after the surgery. Although the incisions are small, they will still take several days to heal completely, and the joint may take several weeks to recover entirely.
Often times, patients can go back to school or work a few days after the surgery. However, as every patient is different, recovery times vary. Your board-certified orthopaedic surgeon at Elmhurst Orthopaedics will work closely with you to develop a post-surgical care plan that may include rehabilitation and/or physical therapy to ensure that you heal properly.
What areas of the body can Arthroscopic Surgery help?
Knee: Meniscal tears, ACL reconstruction, runner’s knee, removal of loose bodies
Shoulder: Rotator cuff tears, shoulder instability, SLAP tears, impingement syndrome, rotator cuff tendonitis, dislocation
Wrist: Endoscopic carpal tunnel release
Elbow: Removal of loose bodies
Ankle: Talar dome defects, Removal of loose bodies
When persistent joint pain disrupts your quality of life, our medical team at Elmhurst Orthopaedics is here to provide you with high-quality personalized care to ensure your long-term health. Our expert orthopaedic surgeons and pain specialists will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and a personalized comprehensive treatment plan, using surgical treatment as a last-resort option.