Recently I blogged about arthroscopy, a procedure which gives an orthopedic surgeon the ability to view, diagnose and treat your joint pain. This week we’ll take a closer look at what happens before, during and after this form of orthopedic surgery in Fort Lauderdale.
During a preparatory appointment, your doctor will gather information about your joint problem and conduct a thorough physical examination. He may use several diagnostic tests, such as x-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) scans, to determine the cause of your joint problem. If questions remain, your doctor may recommend arthroscopy to be sure of a correct diagnosis.
Though most arthroscopic surgeries are done on an outpatient basis, arthroscopy still requires an operating room and anesthesia. To prevent pain during the procedure, an anesthesiologist will administer local, regional or general anesthesia. Most arthroscopic procedures last less than an hour, but the length of your surgery will depend on what your surgeon finds and what treatment is necessary.
• Your surgeon will first make a small slit in your skin (about the size of a buttonhole) for the arthroscope.
• Next, your surgeon will rinse the joint with a sterile solution. This helps your surgeon to see the inside of your joint clearly and in great detail.
• Your surgeon will insert the arthroscope and use the image projected on the video screen to guide it.
• If surgical treatment is needed, your surgeon will insert tiny instruments through another small cut. These instruments might include scissors, motorized shavers and radiofrequency (RF) probes to ablate, trim or remove tissue and cauterize any bleeding.
• Your surgeon will close your incisions with stitches or steri-strips (small bandaids) and cover them with a soft bandage.
You will be moved to a recovery area and should be able to go home within one or two hours. Either a regional block or injection of local anesthetic will be used to minimize post-procedure pain. You will also be given appropriate prescription pain medication, and encouraged to use ice or a cooling sleeve to minimize any post-procedure discomfort. You will need to have someone with you to drive you home.
When surgery is necessary, we at Fort Lauderdale Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine strive for a minimally invasive, frequently arthroscopic approach to speed healing, maximize recovery, and minimize pain and scarring. If you suffer from joint pain or injury, our expertise in arthroscopy could be the answer you need. Feel free to contact us at (954) 400-5544 to schedule a consultation with one of the leading orthopedic surgeons in Florida.