Are you dealing with chronic or severe pain, stiffness, and mobility problems due to a joint condition? You may be a good candidate for arthroscopic surgery.
The minimally invasive procedure can address a range of issues that affect major joints, such as your ankles, wrists, shoulders, or knees, without the lengthy recovery needed after other surgeries.
Board-certified orthopedic sports medicine surgeon Dr. Stephen Fisher and the team at our offices in Cumming and Buford, Georgia, take a comprehensive approach to healing injuries, using arthroscopic techniques over open surgery when possible.
Let’s delve into arthroscopic surgery, including what happens during your procedure.
Arthroscopic surgery 101
The word arthroscopy aptly derives from the Greek words “arthro,” which means joint, and “skopein,” which means “to look.” Arthroscopic procedures involve just that: looking within a joint to assess or treat particular conditions.
With arthroscopic surgery, a special lens and lighting system allows your provider to clearly see the interior of your joint — which helps you avoid the need for open, or “traditional,” surgery.
What to expect during arthroscopic surgery
The specifics of your arthroscopic surgery depend on factors such as the type and severity of your injury or condition and your overall health. Arthroscopic procedures are usually performed under general anesthesia, and a nerve block is used in addition to help with postoperative pain when appropriate.
You won’t have to worry about pain, thanks to numbing agents injected below your skin in the treatment area.
And while you won’t be watching or seeing what happens to your joint during the surgery, the steps typically include:
- A small incision in your skin
- Insertion of a pencil-sized instrument that contains the lens and lighting system
- Repair techniques, such as removing damaged tissue
- Closing up the incision
Under generally anesthesia, you essentially fall asleep just before the procedure and wake up during recovery.
Arthroscopic surgery isn’t a lengthy process. Arthroscopic knee surgery, for example, takes about an hour.
Recovering from arthroscopic surgery
When your arthroscopic surgery is complete, you can expect to spend a couple of hours in a recovery room. From there, you can return home to continue recovering.
Steps we may recommend you follow at home include:
- Rest, cold packs, and elevation
- Pain medication, over-the-counter or prescribed
- A brace, sling, or crutches
- Physical therapy exercises, as you heal
While results vary, many people can ease back into light activity within several days. Our team goes over your specific recovery plan and answers any questions you have along the way.
To learn more about arthroscopic surgery or find out if you’re a good candidate, call one of our convenient locations or book an appointment through our website today.