If you have been having a lot of trouble with one of your joints and your doctor has struggled to make a diagnosis, then they may want to schedule you for an arthroscopy procedure. This procedure involves making tiny incisions in your joint and feeding narrow tools into those incisions. One of these tools is a camera, which will take video footage of the joint tissues, allowing your doctor to visually see what is going wrong. This procedure can seem intimidating, but if you know what to expect, you'll feel more confident during and afterwards.
When you arrive at the surgical center for your arthroscopy appointment, your doctor will begin by administering a sedative to calm your nerves. This sedative will not be strong enough to render you completely unconscious, but you will be rather unaware of what is happening. Then, a local anesthetic will be administered to completely numb the joint and the area around it. You'll be wheeled into the surgical area, and a drape will probably be put up so you cannot see the area being operated upon.
During the Procedure
During the procedure, you will be blissfully unaware and unable to feel any pain. Your doctor will make a few incisions in the joint and then insert the tools, generating images on a big screen. The whole process may take between 30 minutes and an hour, depending on which joint is affected and how soon your doctor discovers the source of your discomfort. Once your doctor has seen what is needed, the instruments are removed, and the incisions are sewn closed.
After your arthroscopy procedure, you will be put in a recovery area as the sedation and local anesthetic wear off. This should only take an hour or so. You may feel some pain in the joint as you come to, but your doctor will administer a pain reliever to keep this pain at bay. Once you are aware enough to understand, your doctor will explain to you the findings of the arthroscopy.
Most patients can return home the same day as their procedure, though you will need someone else to drive you. Your doctor may recommend staying inactive for two or three days, and then slowly resuming activity. However, this will depend on the nature of the actual injury to your joint and the findings of the arthroscopy. Expect your doctor to schedule an appointment for surgery or other treatment based on the findings of the procedure. Contact a company like Ultimate Sports if you'd like more information.