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At Valley Orthopaedic Specialists, our arthroscopic surgeons provide patients with surgery options that offer shorter recovery times, allowing them to get back to their lifestyle faster. Today, many different procedures can be performed arthroscopically, from rotator cuff repairs to ACL reconstruction.

What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery — often referred to as arthroscopy — is a minimally invasive procedure that allows orthopaedic surgeons to see inside joints. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat joint issues. During this procedure, an arthroscope – a special instrument that has a fiber optic lighting system and a lens — is inserted through a tiny incision in the skin. Then, it’s attached to a camera which will produce images from the arthroscope on a screen.

With this magnified view, orthopaedic surgeons can explore the inside of the joint to identify the type of injury, along with its severity. While arthroscopy was originally only used to diagnose conditions, it has become possible to treat various injuries and conditions with these procedures.

Conditions Treated with Arthroscopic Surgery

Just a few of the conditions that can be treated with arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Inflammation of joint linings
  • Loose bone fragments
  • Scarring that’s occurred within the joints
  • Torn or damaged cartilage
  • Torn ligaments

Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery

When compared to open surgery, which involves larger incisions to access a joint, arthroscopic surgery provides multiple benefits, including:

  • Lower Cost – Since arthroscopy can often be performed as an outpatient procedure, it’s generally less expensive than undergoing open surgery.
  • Faster Recovery – The small incision used for this type of surgery means that arthroscopic surgery recovery is generally faster than recovering from open surgery.
  • Better Visualization – Surgeons also enjoy an enhanced, magnified view of the interior of the joint being treated.
  • Reduced Surgical Pain – The use of smaller instruments and smaller incisions means that most patients experience far less surgical pain after the procedure.

Common Types of Arthroscopic Surgery

Some of the most common types of arthroscopic surgery include:

Although these surgeries are less common, wrists, ankles, and other joints may also be treated using arthroscopy.

What to Expect After the Procedure

Arthroscopic surgery is generally a shorter procedure. It’s common for arthroscopy of the knee to be successfully performed in under two hours. Once the procedure is complete, patients will recover in a separate room for a few hours, and will then be sent home. When patients are released, they’ll be given post-operative instructions by their physician.

Aftercare often includes taking medicines to reduce inflammation and relieve pain, resting and elevating the joint for a few days, protecting the joint, and eventually undergoing physical therapy to help improve function and strengthen muscles around the joint.

However, the recovery time for an arthroscopic surgery depends on the procedure and can vary from patient to patient.

Contact Valley Orthopaedic Specialists

If you have a joint condition or have suffered an injury, contact Valley Orthopaedic Specialists today to find out if arthroscopic surgery is for you. Our surgeons are highly-trained professionals and specialize in offering these less-invasive surgical options to help patients get back to their normal lifestyle as quickly as possible.