Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure orthopedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose and treat problems inside a joint. Using an arthroscope, an orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision and then inserts instruments. Through one of these instruments a small lens is inserted and attached to a camera and cable from a lighting system. This allows the surgeon to easily see the structures inside the joint - cartilage, ligaments and the condition of the smooth surfaces of the bones in the joint. The surgeon can determine the amount or type of injury and often repair or correct the problem if necessary. Arthroscopic surgery, although much easier in terms of recovery than "open" surgery, still requires the use of anesthetics and the special equipment in a hospital operating room or outpatient surgical suite.
The amount of surgery required and recovery time will depend upon the complexity of your problem. Occasionally, during arthroscopy, the surgeon may discover that the injury or disease cannot be treated adequately with arthroscopy alone. The extensive "open" surgery may be performed while you are still anesthetized, or at a later date after your have discussed the findings with your surgeon.
Orlando Regional Medical Center performs the following arthroscopic procedures:
- Shoulder scopes: repairs of rotator cuff, repair of labral tears
- Wrist scopes
- Elbow scopes
- Knee scopes: repairs to torn meniscus, ACL/PCL repair
- Ankle scopes