Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can be used both to diagnose and treat a wide range of conditions that affect joints. In the wrist, arthroscopy is used to treat ligaments, tendons and other types of tissue that become damaged as a result of degeneration, trauma, or disease.
Wrist pain is a common problem with many possible causes. Sometimes it results from a sprain or fracture due to a fall or other injury, while in other cases it stems from conditions such as arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome. It is essential, therefore, to obtain the proper diagnosis in order to treat it correctly and effectively.
The Wrist Arthroscopy Procedure
During the wrist arthroscopy procedure, the wrist is stabilized by being placed on a separate operating table from the one the patient is on. Several tiny incisions are made in the wrist and a thin tube, called an arthroscope, is inserted into the treatment area. The arthroscope is connected to a camera that displays images of the wrist's internal structure on a computer screen, allowing the surgeon to precisely identify and target joint abnormalities.
Depending upon what is found, the surgeon, using special small surgical tools, may be able to treat the condition immediately. Reasons for wrist arthroscopy include removing scarred or inflamed tissue, repairing fractures, removing ganglion cysts, and repairing torn ligaments or tendons.
Recovery from Wrist Arthroscopy
After surgery, the wrist is elevated and bandaged for several days in order to reduce the risk of pain and swelling, and promote proper healing. Patients who undergo arthroscopy experience significantly less bleeding and scarring, and have shorter recovery times, than patients who undergo traditional open surgery.