What is Wrist Arthroscopy?


Have you and your doctor discussed your wrist pain? When other, non-surgical interventions fail to improve your condition, he/she may recommend that you undergo a wrist arthroscopy. This is a surgery that aims to repair the tissues around or inside the wrist. Using a small camera called an arthroscope, the procedure enables the doctor to detect problems in the wrist without making huge cuts in the skin and tissue. With this method, you will experience less pain and recover more quickly than you would when undergoing an open surgical operation.

But who exactly is this procedure for? You might be a candidate for wrist arthroscopy if the doctor determines that you require ganglion removal, which involves cutting a small, fluid-filled sac that has developed near the joint. You might also be a candidate if you’ve experienced tears in the ligaments- the bands of tissues that connect bones to other bones- as this procedure can repair tears. Patients with carpal tunnel syndrome can have their pain and pressure relieved after undergoing this procedure, as well, as the arthroscopy will enlarge the area that the nerves pass through, creating more space for swollen, irritated nerves. Although full-on breaks will require a more invasive procedure, you may be a candidate for the procedure is your wrist has been affected by a minor fracture.

Before the procedure, you will need to receive anesthesia, whether it be general or regionalized. Under general anesthesia, you will be put to sleep so that you are unable to feel any pain, whereas regional anesthesia numbs only the area being treated. If you opt for the latter, you will still be given medicine that will make you very tired and semi-conscious throughout the procedure. During the operation, your surgeon will insert the arthroscope into the wrist via a very small incision. He/she will then be able to view and inspect the inside of your wrist by watching a video monitor, checking the bones, cartilage, ligaments, and tendons for damage and abnormalities. After identifying any issues, your surgeon can make more small incisions in order to insert the instruments into the specific area and make the necessary repairs. However, if you have extensive damage, these incisions may need to be larger than originally anticipated. Once completed, the incisions are closed with stitches and covered with hygienic dressings.

The small cuts in your skin will typically heal quite quickly, allowing you to resume your normal routine in a few short days. Pain and stiffness may occur but will pass sooner than if you had undergone a major, open surgical procedure. The more tissue that was damaged and subsequently repaired, the longer it will take to feel 100 percent again. However, with this minimally invasive surgery, you are sure to have fewer risks and complications and can rest assured that you will recover more quickly.

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POSMC is a full-service medical facility specializing in the evaluation and treatment of orthopedic injuries. The practice is led by a group of 12 board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons and a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician. Contact us today!