Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure performed to investigate and treat joint abnormalities. It is performed with the use of an arthroscope, a narrow, long fiber optic tube that is connected to a camera and light source. It provides a detailed view of the inside of your joint, which can be visualized on a television monitor. Structures visualized include bone, cartilage, tendons, ligaments and muscle.
Arthroscopy can be used to determine the extent of inflammation or injury to these structures. Certain joint conditions are difficult to diagnose even with advanced imaging procedures, and arthroscopy provides the only definitive diagnosis. Once the problem is clearly viewed, your surgeon can use the arthroscope to treat the problem. It is ideal for treating various hip conditions.
During hip arthroscopy, the arthroscope is inserted through a small incision made over your hip. A sterile solution is also injected into the joint through this incision to expand the area and provide better visualization and room for performing the surgical procedure. Another two to three similar incisions are made through which minute surgical instruments are inserted to perform the procedure. The images displayed on the television monitor guide the entire surgical procedure. After arthroscopy, the scope and instruments are removed and the small incisions closed. Recovery is generally quick and you may be able to leave the hospital on the same day.
A rehabilitation program is usually recommended to speed up recovery and protect joint function. You may return to your regular activity in a few days or weeks depending on the type of repair. As with all surgical procedures, arthroscopic surgery may include certain complications such as bleeding, infection, clot formation, vessel and nerve injury, or instrument breakage.
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