Orthopedic Arthroscopy

Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine

Arthroscopic Surgery

Orthopedic injuries can feel overwhelming, especially if you are informed that surgery may be required. Patients are immediately concerned about recovery, overall downtime, and complications, but thanks to arthroscopic surgery, diagnosis and repair has become much simpler. At Missouri Orthopedics & Advanced Sports Medicine in St. Louis, we offer arthroscopic procedures to our patients to quickly and effectively alleviate pain and discomfort caused by injury or disease.

To determine if your joint pain may be fixed using arthroscopic surgery, contact us for an appointment.

What is Arthroscopic Surgery?

Arthroscopy is a minimally-invasive surgical procedure that allows the surgeon to view, diagnose, and treat a range of issues within a joint. A camera is inserted through a small incision that projects images onto a screen for the surgeon. Small surgical instruments are then used to help fix certain issues or damage found within the joint. When using arthroscopy as a diagnostic tool, it allows the surgeon to either fix the issue right away, or decide more accurately that full surgery will be required to remedy the problem.

Indications for Arthroscopic Surgery

There are a variety of diseases and injuries in which orthopedic surgeons use arthroscopic surgery. Some of the most common ailments include:

  • Inflammation, such as synovitis
  • Shoulder injuries (rotator cuff tear, impingement, dislocations)
  • Knee injuries (meniscal tears, ACL tears)
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Loose pieces of bone or cartilage within a joint

Your doctor will evaluate your injury and overall health to determine if arthroscopy is the right treatment option.

For information on knee arthroscopy, visit our Orthopedic Knee Surgery page.

For information on hip arthroscopy, visit our Hip Injuries page.

Recovery following Arthroscopic Surgery

The wounds themselves are small and pain is generally considered minimal. However, the joint itself takes weeks to fully recover. You may be prescribed a specific rehabilitation program or series of activities that will help to speed recovery, improve function, and protect it for future use. Many patients are able to return to work and daily activities within a few days of arthroscopic surgery. Athletes may be able to resume physical activity in a few weeks.

Always be sure to consult with your doctor before returning to any activities that utilize the surgically-repaired joint area. Follow recovery instructions provided to ensure you achieve the best results after your procedure.

Arthoscopic Surgery FAQs

What areas of the body can arthroscopic surgery be used?

Almost any joint in the body can be viewed arthroscopically, but this surgery is most frequently used on the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist joints.

How long does arthroscopic surgery take?

The procedure itself typically ranges anywhere from 30 to 45 minutes depending on the severity of the issue present.

What are potential complications from arthroscopy?

As with any surgical procedure, there are risks of complications. Risk of infection, blood clots, excessive swelling or bleeding, damage to blood vessels or nerves, and instrument breakage may occur. However, these risks and complications are considered to be uncommon. These and other concerns will be discussed with your doctor prior to the procedure.