What is wrist arthroscopy?
Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure in which a lighted tube less than 2mm in diameter connected to a camera is placed into the wrist joint. This camera broadcasts the image to a high definition monitor. Additional surgical probes and tools are placed through from two to four small holes usually to perform the procedure. Many conditions can be diagnosed and the problem corrected with minimal scarring and quick return to function.
When is wrist arthroscopy performed?
Wrist arthroscopy is performed to not only correct a problem but more frequently to diagnose the problem within the wrist joint. MRI’s even with arthrograms are only about 60% accurate in determining whether there is a ligament or cartilage tear in the wrist. While it is still useful to get an MRI, the gold standard for a correct diagnosis of a wrist ligament or cartilage tear is through wrist arthroscopy. This treatment is the now the standard in the right hands for the treatment of wrist ligament and cartilage injuries,excision of ganglion cysts, loose bodies, foreign bodies, inflammation ,removal of the distal ulna for arthritis (abrasion chondroplasty) and the treatment of intra-articular distal radius fracture and scaphoid fractures.
How is wrist arthroscopy performed?
The patient is placed on the table with the surgery arm free. After going to sleep, the arm is sterilely prepped. A metal tower is used to stretch the wrist to open up the small joint to allow placement of a 1.9 mm scope and similar sized instruments. At times additional x-ray imaging will allow real time imaging of the bones while pins or screws are placed through the bone. Upon completion of the procedure, the small wounds are closed with glue. A local anesthetic is added for pain relief and a splint is placed for at least several days for comfort.
Who should perform arthroscopic wrist surgery?
There are many surgeons that only perform this procedure occasionally. To have the best chance of success it is important to choose a wrist surgeon who performs advanced wrist arthroscopy regularly and who have success stories like Dr. Knight.
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