Arthroscopic Surgery Monterey

Arthroscopic surgery is a surgical procedure that is used in order to identify and treat problems inside joints. Making a small incision, the surgeon inserts a small instrument roughly the size of a pen with a light and a camera attached. If you have inflammation in a joint either acute or chronic or if you have damaged joints an arthroscopy may be recommended.

The image created from the camera is projected onto a monitor to see the underlying issues that may be affecting joints or ligaments. An arthroscopy is most often performed in the knees, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, or wrists to identify a wide range of conditions. Some issues can even be treated during the arthroscopy procedure.

What conditions can arthroscopy treat

  • Inflammation
  • Internal scarring
  • Tendon tears such as a rotator cuff tear
  • Cartilage tears
  • Bone fragmentation

An arthroscopy procedure can be used in a number of procedures such as reconstruction or repair of torn ligaments, removal of loose bone or cartilage, the release of carpal tunnel in the wrist, or rotator cuff repair.

Am I a candidate for Arthroscopy Surgery

Monterey Spine and Joint may recommend arthroscopy as a diagnosis for any joint conditions you might be experiencing. An arthroscopic procedure can identify the condition and any complications of ligaments, tendons, muscles, bone and cartilage around your joints including the knee, hip, shoulders, and more.

How to prepare for Arthroscopic surgery

Your doctor will go over everything you will need to know before you arrive for your procedure and ensure that you are comfortable leading into the day of your arthroscopy procedure. Some common elements to keep in mind on the day of your procedure:

  • Arrange for a ride if necessary: Depending on the type of anesthesia that may be used you may need to have a ride to bring you safely back home following the procedure.
  • Avoid certain medications: If you are taking any prescription or over the counter medication your doctor will let you know to avoid taking them the day of the surgery. Be sure to let your doctor know in advance of any medication that you are currently taking or plan on taking.
  • Fast: The type of amnesia that your doctor may use will determine whether or not you may need to fast before your procedure. If you are required to fast you will need to go without eating solid foods for at least 8 hours before the time of your procedure.

Preparation for arthroscopy is fairly standard compared to other procedures. If you do require any type of special preparation for the procedure your doctor will let you know in advance.

How is Arthroscopy performed?

During arthroscopy your doctor will administer a method of sedation based on your needs and the type of procedure. 

  • Local anesthesia: used to numb a small area such as an elbow or knee
  • Regional anesthesia: typically administered into the spine regional anesthesia can numb the bottom half of your body while still  keeping you awake
  • General anesthesia: if general anesthesia, or IV sedation, is used you will be asleep for the duration of the procedure.

Once anesthesia is administered the surgeon will make a small incision about the size of a button where they can insert a tool called an arthroscope that contains a light and a camera to analyze and detect problems near the joint. While looking for issues, your doctor will determine if you need any surgery. If it is determined that you need surgery your surgeon will perform it during the arthroscopy.

Depending on the severity of your diagnosis during your arthroscopy a more specialized procedure may be needed. Once the arthroscopy procedure is finished, however, the arthroscope will be removed and the incision stitched together.

Is Arthroscopy a major surgery?

Arthroscopy is not considered a major surgery and is done on an outpatient basis meaning that you will be able to go home the same day as your procedure. 

Recovery from Arthroscopy

If you went under heavier forms of anesthesia you may feel groggy or slightly confused after waking up from arthroscopy surgery. You may also notice pain and swelling in the surgical site. The pain should subside completely within a few weeks. During recovery, your doctor may prescribe some pain medication to help. Because only a small incision is made recovery is much faster than with open surgery. Keeping the area elevated and using ice packs can help to alleviate swelling that you experience.

Your total recovery time can vary greatly depending on the extent of your procedure and the total correction that is used. After Arthroscopic surgery you will be able to return to work or school in a couple days. You will be able to drive no longer than a week after the procedure is performed. Athletes typically return to physical activity or training after a few weeks following an arthroscopy procedure. The total recovery time for arthroscopy will also vary based on underlying conditions before the procedure.

You may also be prescribed some exercise plans in order to strengthen the area where the procedure was performed. 

Risks of Arthroscopy surgery

Even though Arthroscopy only makes minimal incisions there are still some risks to keep in mind that are possible with any type of surgery. Some of the risks of arthroscopy include: 

  • Infection
  • Tissue or nerve damage
  • Blood clots
  • Numbness

It is important to know that any risks or complications from arthroscopic surgery are rare. If you have any concerns ahead of your procedure be sure to speak with your doctor and they can explain the process in more detail to alleviate any concerns.

Contact Monterey Spine & Joint for arthroscopy

If you think you may be a candidate for arthroscopic surgery contact Monterey Spine and Joint by calling 831-648-7200 or contacting us today! Our team of arthroscopic specialists are ready to help heal and repair any joint damage that you may have experienced as a result of strain or injury.