Arthroscopic Surgery

Specialty: Arthroscopic Surgery

What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Minimally invasive surgical techniques utilizing poke-hole incisions with a camera and sterile fluid to visualize, navigate, and perform procedures.


Preparation for Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery preparation depends on the joint/extremity undergoing the procedure. However, in general, you are required to:

  • Avoid taking certain medications or supplements that may increase the risk of bleeding

  • Inform your doctor if you are allergic to any medications or anesthesia

  • Avoid consuming liquids or solid foods 6 to 8 hours before surgery

  • Wear comfortable clothing to get on and off easily

  • Bring assistive devices, such as a walker, cane, or crutches

  • Arrange for a ride as you will not be able to drive back yourself

Arthroscopic Surgery Procedure

The surgery is performed under general or local anesthesia. After adequately sterilizing the surgical area, Dr. Smith will make a few small poke hole incisions through which the arthroscope and tiny specialized instruments are inserted. The joints are irrigated with sterile fluid to clear debris and aid in visibility. The camera attached to the tip of the arthroscope to allow Dr. Smith to view the structures inside the joint through a monitor, and the damaged structures are repaired. The instruments and arthroscope are then withdrawn, and the surgical incisions are closed with sterile dressings and sutures.

Postoperative Care of Arthroscopic Surgery

Before being discharged, Dr. Smith and/or his assistant will give you appropriate postoperative instructions, such as:

  • How to care your incisions and dressing

  • Exercises you should do

  • What activities you must avoid

  • Use of assistive devices like a sling, splint, or crutches

  • Use of pain medications

  • Rehabilitation program for a quicker recovery

  • Follow-up visit to remove dressings or sutures and monitor your overall progress

Risks and Complications of Arthroscopic Surgery

The risks and complications of an arthroscopic procedure are minimal and occur in less than one percent of all arthroscopic surgeries. Some of the possible risks and complications of arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Infection

  • Swelling or bleeding

  • Blood clots

  • Damage to nerves or blood vessels

  • Instrument breakage

  • Anesthetic problems

Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery Over Traditional Open Surgery

Some of the benefits of arthroscopic surgery over traditional open surgery include:

  • Often performed as an outpatient procedure

  • Reduction in swelling from soft tissue manipulation

  • Reduced post-operative pain

  • Lower risk of infection

  • Minimal blood loss

  • Improved recovery time

  • Tiny scars

  • Reduced surgical risk as arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure

  • Both diagnosis and surgery can be carried out in one approach

  • Use of tiny instruments in arthroscopy aids in minimal damage to surrounding tissues compared to large-sized surgical devices