An arthroscope is a small tube that is inserted into the body with a system of lenses, a light, and a small video camera connected to a monitoring system allowing the surgeon an accurate view to operate.
Although each procedure varies, arthroscopic surgeries involve:
- You will receive a general, local, or spinal anesthetic.
- A small incision is made in your skin.
- The arthroscope is inserted through the incision.
- Other incisions may be made to introduce other small grasping, probing, or cutting tools.
- Light is transmitted via fiber optics at the end of the arthroscope.
- Information about the interior of the joint is transmitted to a screen.
- Corrective surgery, if necessary, may be done during the initial diagnostic procedure.
- Dressings or bandages may be put on the incisions.
- The small puncture wounds created by the arthroscope and probing tool(s) may take several days to heal.
Recovery time varies and is usually done on an outpatient basis. This means you can go home within hours after the surgery. Some people get back to their normal activity within a few days. Athletes and other people in good physical condition may return to athletic activities within a few weeks, under the care of their doctor.