Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows physicians to examine or treat damaged joints without creating a large opening in the skin. Arthroscopic surgery uses an instrument called an arthroscope to create a tiny incision through the skin that covers an injured joint. Once the incision is created, the physician can view the inside of the joint on a monitor in the surgical room via a camera attached to the arthroscope.
Arthroscopic Surgery Is Used to:
- Examine extent of an injury: Arthroscopic surgery may be used to determine the extent to which a joint is damaged
- Treat an injury: Arthroscopic surgery may also be used to repair ligaments, cartilage, and inflamed tissues
Arthroscopic Surgery Procedures
Arthroscopic surgery may be performed to treat joint inflammation and repair loose cartilage or bone fragments. It may also be used to treat the following injuries:
- Torn meniscus, ACL, or rotator cuff
- Shoulder or hip impingement
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Other sports injuries
Advantages of Arthroscopic Surgery
Arthroscopic surgery offers a few advantages over open surgery:
Because it is less invasive than open surgery, arthroscopic surgery generally offers a quicker recovery time. This also means that is also less pain and complications associated with arthroscopic surgery.
Arthroscopic surgery is also usually performed in an outpatient setting. This means patients can leave the surgical facility the same day of surgery.
Arthroscopic Surgery Recovery
Your recovery timeline will depend on the extent of your injury. The table below provides anticipated rate of return following some of the more common arthroscopic procedures.
|Injury||Anticipated Return to Normal Activities||Anticipated Return to Sports|
|Torn ACL||2-4 Months||6-9 Months|
|Torn Meniscus||2-3 Months||3-6 Months|
|Torn Rotator Cuff||3-6 Months||6-12 Months|