LA Orthopedic Group can help examine, treat and repair the wrist with Wrist Arthroscopy.
A wrist arthroscopy is a procedure during which a very small camera and other surgical instruments are used to examine, treat or repair the joint of the wrist. The wrist has become the third most common joint to undergo arthroscopy.
- The wrist has eight small bones and connecting ligaments
- The arthroscopy allows the surgeon to see inside the joint without large incisions
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Why It’s Performed
If a patient is experiencing wrist pain with an unknown cause, a physician may choose to conduct a diagnostic arthroscopy to examine the joint.
Wrist arthroscopy may also be performed to repair or treat a number of conditions, including:
- Wrist Fractures: this procedure can be used after a fracture to remove fragments of bone as well as align and stabilize the bones of the wrist.
- Ganglion Cysts: an arthroscopy may be used to remove painful fluid filled sacs, called ganglions, from the wrist.
- Ligament Tears: tears in the connective tissue of the wrist can be repaired using this procedure.
- Carpal Tunnel: this condition, caused by pressure on a nerve that passes through the wrist, can be relieved using wrist arthroscopy to make the passage for the nerve larger.
What Happens During the Procedure
Wrist arthroscopy can be performed using general or regional anesthesia. If you receive general anesthesia, you will be asleep and unaware of the procedure. If you receive regional anesthesia, then the hand and arm will be numbed. You may also receive a sedative medication.
The surgeon conducting the arthroscopy will start by making a small incision in the wrist, through which a narrow scope with a tiny video camera is inserted. The video is projected onto a monitor which the surgeon uses to guide the scope and other surgical instruments which may be used for the procedure.
Complications from wrist arthroscopy are unusual. Though rare, complications may include:
- Excessive swelling
- Joint stiffness
After the wrist arthroscopy procedure is performed, patients are typically instructed to keep the wrist elevated and apply a cold pack to help reduce swelling. You will need to keep the bandage on your wrist clean, dry and intact. You may be able to take pain medication if your doctor approves its use.
Your doctor will provide instructions regarding activity restrictions while your wrist recovers, as well as address any gentle exercises or physical therapy that will be helpful to your recovery.