Wrist Arthroscopy

What is wrist arthroscopy?

Wrist arthroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose and treat problems inside the wrist joint.  An arthroscope is a small, fiber optic instrument which the surgeon uses to see inside the joint. An arthroscopy can be used to diagnose and treat various conditions that affect the wrist. It may include wrist fractures, wrist pain, ligament tears, and ganglion cysts.

Diagnostic arthroscopy for wrist:

Diagnostic arthroscopy is used to confirm the condition that causes pain in the wrist of an individual. It is also used as a diagnostic method, when the wrist pain is not reduced with several months of nonsurgical treatments.

Surgical arthroscopy for wrist:

A number of conditions can be treated with surgical arthroscopy. Some of them may include:

  • Chronic wrist pain
  • Wrist fractures
  • Carpal tunnel release
  • Ligament/TFCC tears
  • Ganglion cysts

The procedure may vary according to the condition to be treated. However, the steps will be same for most of the procedures.

What are the advantages of wrist arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure and a wrist Arthroscopy has all the advantages of a wrist Arthroscopy. Some of the advantages of wrist arthroscopy over traditional wrist surgery may include:

Less scarring and lower infection rate as the surgery needs only a small incision

  • Less pain
  • Faster recovery
  • Requires only short period of hospital stay
  • Less trauma to the muscles, tissues and ligaments

What about the post-operative care?

Recovery period and other limitations may depend upon the condition or the injury treated. It may take several weeks or months for a full recovery. After completing the surgical procedure, the wrist will be covered with a bandage or splint. The patient may need to use the splint until he/she is completely recovered. The doctor may suggest RICE therapy during the recovery period. During the recovery period, many activities like bathing, strenuous work, exercise etc, will be limited. The surgeon may also suggest occupational or hand therapy after most types of arthroscopic wrist procedures. He/she may also suggest grip and pinch exercises, wrist strengthening exercises, and range of motion exercise after some weeks of surgery.

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