An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery usedboth to diagnose and treat problems with joints.
It's most commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips.
An arthroscopyinvolves the use of a device called anarthroscope to examine the joints. This is a thin,metal tube about the length and width of a drinking straw that contains a light source and a camera. Images are sent from the arthroscope to a video screen or an eyepiece, so the surgeon is able to see inside the joint.
It's also possible for tiny surgical instruments to be used alongside an arthroscopeto allow the surgeon to treatcertain joint conditions.
As the equipment used during an arthroscopy is so small, onlyminor cuts need to be made in the skin. This means the procedure has some potential advantages over traditional, "open" surgery, including:
An arthroscopy might be recommended if you have problems such as persistent Joint pain , swelling or stiffness, and scans have not been able to identify the cause.
An arthroscopy can also be used to treat a range of joint problems and conditions. For example, it can be used to:
These will usuallyimprove during thedays or weeks following the procedure.
More seriousproblems are much less common, occurring in less than 1 in100 cases. They include:
Speak to your surgeon about the possible risks before agreeing to have an arthroscopy.
An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used both to diagnose and treat problems with joints. It's most commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows, wrists and hips.
An arthroscopy can be carried out to help diagnose and treat a number of joint problems and conditions.
An arthroscopy procedure usually lasts between 30 minutes and two hours. You can normally go home the same day or the following morning.
How long it takes to recover after an arthroscopy can vary, depending on the type of surgery you had, your general health and the type of work that you do.
Ashley French, from north London, decided to go ahead with an arthroscopy after he noticed something was wrong with his knee. He hasn't looked back since.