Discover What Arthroscopic Surgery Can Do For You

Posted on Categories General Orthopedic

Surgery and recovery are now improving with these new methods


Arthroscopy comes from the greek words, arthro (joint) and skopein (to look) – thus giving the term to look within the joint. During an arthroscopy, or arthroscopic surgery, your orthopedic surgeon will be able to diagnose the issues going on in your joints.

During an arthroscopic procedure, your orthopedic surgeon makes a small incision into the skin – inserting pencil sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to allow the surgeon to see clearly inside of the joint.

Your surgeon attaches the arthroscope to a small camera and television so they may see inside of your joint through this small incision, rather than a large incision during standard surgery. With this – the orthopedic surgeon will be able to determine the severity of the injury. The surgeon may also repair the problem at this time, if necessary.

The joints more commonly viewed with an arthroscope are:

  • Knee
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Ankle
  • Hip
  • Wrist

When Is Arthroscopic Surgery Necessary?

Arthroscopy is necessary for properly diagnosing accurately, after x-rays and physical exams have been performed.

Specific injuries that benefit from arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Knee. Meniscal tears, chondromalacia (wearing/injury of cartilage cushion) and anterior cruciate ligament tears.
  • Shoulder. Rotator cuff tears, recurrent dislocations and impingement syndrome.
  • Wrist. Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Loose bodies of bones and cartilage. In the elbow, ankle, wrist, knee and shoulder.
  • Inflammation. Also known as synovium, where the lining of specific joints are inflamed.

In some cases – arthroscopic surgery may combine with standard surgery for the following reasons:

  • Repairing of torn ligaments
  • Release of carpal tunnel
  • Removal of loose bone or cartilage
  • Knee reconstruction
  • Removal of inflamed lining (synovium)
  • Rotator cuff surgery
  • Repair/resection of torn cartilage from shoulder or knee

The Advantages and Disadvantages of Arthroscopic Surgery

Because this surgery is less-invasive than traditional surgery, it has become popular with many professional athletes. As an outpatient procedure, a patient is normally home within a few hours after surgery is completed.

Complications may include infection, excessive swelling or bleeding, and blood vessel damage. Fortunately these complications occur less than 1% of the time.

What Is The Recovery Time?

Due to the small incision made, the recovery time of the actual site may take several days to heal. For maximum recovery you may need to wait several weeks. Remember, it’s not just the incision that you’re recovering from – but your joints as well.

For example, arthroscopic surgery knee recovery time normally ranges from 6-8 weeks until you can return to most physical activities.

Arthroscopic surgery shoulder recovery may differ slightly from knee surgery recovery. Recovery may take several weeks, depending upon the severity of the condition.

For more information on how Allied Bone and Joint can inform you further on arthroscopic surgery, request an appointment online or give us a call at one of our 2 locations. We look forward to helping you put your life in motion.

Call our South Bend Office at (574) 247-4667 or

Call our Plymouth Office at (574) 540-2500