Arthroscopy has been used for several years in larger joints such as knees and shoulders, but as technology advances, so does the equipment involved in arthroscopy. Today, even conditions arising in the small joints of our extremities can be diagnosed and treated using arthroscopic surgery.
Arthroscopy is an outpatient surgical procedure, where the surgeon makes small incisions and inserts a pencil-sized instrument called an arthroscope. The arthroscope contains a small lens, a miniature camera, and a lighting system, and is connected to a television monitor. In this way, a surgeon can look directly inside the joint and identify the problem. In many cases, tiny instruments can be utilized to correct problems at the same time.
The arthroscopy procedure is performed under general or regional anesthesia. A fiberoptic camera is inserted through a small incision, or ‘portal,’ in the wrist or elbow. The camera lens magnifies and projects the small structures onto a television monitor, allowing the orthopedic surgeon to accurately diagnose the condition.
Wrist arthroscopy may be used to smooth bone surfaces and removed inflamed tissue and can be used to treat chronic wrist pain, wrist fractures, carpal tunnel syndrome, ganglion cysts, and tears in the ligaments or triangular fibrocartilage complex (TFCC). Arthroscopy can also be utilized for wrist fractures; orthopedic surgeons can remove small fragments and fracture debris, align the broken pieces of bone, and stabilize them by using pins, wires, or screws.
Elbow arthroscopy has recently become useful in a procedure treating cubital tunnel syndrome, or ulnar nerve compression. It is also used for other conditions such as tennis elbow, post-traumatic contracture releases, arthritis, and loose body removal.
After your arthroscopy you will most likely be placed into a protective bandage or splint that allows full mobility of your fingers. The period of protection will vary depending on what was performed at the time of surgery. Elevating the involved extremity is important to prevent excessive swelling and pain after your surgery.
The cost of an arthroscopy is based on a number of considerations. This can include both the extent of the procedure and a patient’s insurance carrier. Medicare will cover this surgery if it is deemed necessary treatment. BEST accepts Medicare, most private health insurances, and works with workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases at all of our centers.
Reach Out to BEST Health System Today
To learn more about the wide range of treatments for knee injuries and conditions to help you return to an active lifestyle, contact BEST Health System today. Our caring and experienced team of treatment professionals can help you develop a personalized treatment plan that is right for you.