What is Arthroscopic Surgery?
This type of procedure allows an orthopedic surgeon to visualize, diagnose, and treat any existing problems in a joint. An important tool known as the arthroscope, a miniscule telescope powered by a fiber optic light, facilitates the treatment of knee injuries, and has recently become beneficial in alleviating wrist conditions.
What is Wrist Arthroscopy?
The arthroscope is utilized to internally examine the wrist joint; small incisions are made in the skin for arthroscope insertion as the wrist is lit up and the image is transmitted through a small television camera for the surgeon to see. This procedure is normally performed on the patient under regional or general anesthesia. Prior to the entire process, the nurse will insert an intravenous catheter (IV) for surgical preparation.
What to Expect:
After the anesthesia has taken effect, the patient’s wrist will be placed in a wrist holder and cleaned with sterile technique to avoid exposure to harmful bacteria that can cause infection, and to perform the surgery in a sterile fashion. Next, small punctures will be made in the wrist to allow room for the arthroscope to be properly placed. Once the procedure is completed, the instruments will be removed and a sterile bandage/splint will be placed on the wrist. The patient will awaken from the anesthetics and will be taken to the recovery room for examination; finally, he or she will be released to return home.
After the Procedure:
A prescription for pain medication will be given and can be obtained at any local pharmacy. Instructions will be given to keep the wrist clean and above the level of his or her heart for 48 hours after the operation; additionally, further postoperative practices, such as slowly beginning to accustom the fingers to movement again, will be explained.
Although low, please be aware of these possibilities:
- Nerve or vessel injury
- Excessive pain (comforted by pain medication)