Arthroscopy

Advanced Procedure to Diagnose and Treat Joint Problems

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows your doctor to see, diagnose and treat problems within a joint. The orthopaedic specialists at Loyola Medicine use arthroscopy for a number of diagnostic procedures and treatments of the anklehipkneeshoulder and wrist

At Loyola, you’ll benefit from having a team of doctors that is highly experienced in performing arthroscopy. Along with a complete physical examination and imaging that may include X-raysMRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or CT scans (computed tomography), your Loyola doctor may perform an arthroscopic evaluation to diagnose: 

  • Adhesive capsulitis or “frozen shoulder”
  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries
  • Bone fractures and bone spurs
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS)
  • Chondromalacia
  • Dislocated hip
  • Femoroacetabular impingement (FAI)
  • Joint edema
  • Meniscal tear

Many conditions and injuries can be treated arthroscopically, which may often provide more accurate results than an open surgery. In fact, compared to an open joint surgery, arthroscopy is easier on a patient because it involves less pain, a faster recovery and a shorter hospital stay. Some treatments combine arthroscopic and standard surgery. 

Conditions treated at Loyola through arthroscopy include:

  • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injury
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Inflamed lining (synovium) in a joint
  • Meniscal tear
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Torn ligaments

What to Expect with Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy provides patients the benefit of a shorter recovery time than open surgery. Whenever possible, Loyola offers arthroscopic procedures to most effectively treat your condition. In preparation for your arthroscopic procedure, you will be given a general, spinal or a local anesthetic. A small incision will be made near your joint and the arthroscope will be inserted. Additional incisions may be made to look into other parts of the joint, or for access of additional instruments.

After surgery, it will take several days for your incisions to heal, and you can expect to have swelling around the joint during this time. It’s not unusual for patients to go back to work or school after a few days, but it will take several weeks for your joint to recover completely. Loyola’s physical therapists provide exercise and rehabilitation programs to help you recover quickly and protect future joint function.

What are the Risks of Arthroscopy?

Your Loyola healthcare team will discuss the risks and benefits of any proposed treatment plan with you. While the risks of arthroscopy are rare, they include infection, blood clots, excessive swelling and bleeding. The risks of arthroscopy are less than those associated with open surgery.