Your wrist is a complex joint made up of eight small bones called carpal bones. These bones are supported by connecting ligaments. Various conditions can affect your wrist joint such as carpal tunnel syndrome, osteoarthritis and others.
Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to view, diagnose, and treat problems of your wrist joint.
What are the indications for arthroscopic wrist surgery?
Wrist arthroscopy may be necessary to help in diagnosing:
- Unexplained pain
- Giving way or popping of the joint
Wrist arthroscopy is also used to treat conditions such as:
- Chronic wrist pain
- Wrist fractures
- Ligament tears
- Ganglion cysts
- Carpel tunnel syndrome
How is the surgical procedure performed?
Wrist arthroscopy is usually performed under regional anesthesia. You will be awake, but will feel no sensation in your hand and arm during your procedure. You may be given a sedative to keep you relaxed.
Your doctor will make one or two small half-inch incisions, known as portals, on the back of your wrist. The portals are placed in specific locations on the wrist, depending on the areas that need to be visualized. The arthroscope and special surgical instruments are inserted into your wrist through these portals. The arthroscope is a thin tube with a camera, lens and light source. Your doctor will be guided by the images relayed from the arthroscope onto a video monitor throughout your procedure. Your doctor will perform any necessary repairs depending on your particular problem.
After the procedure, the portals are closed with small stitches and a dressing is applied. You may be instructed to wear a splint for a short time after the procedure.
What are the steps recommended duringpost-operative care?
- Keep your hand elevated above the level of your heart for the first 2 to 3 days after your procedure
- Keep your bandage clean, dryand intact
- You may apply ice over the operated area to reduce swelling and discomfort
- You will be instructed on special exercises to regain strength and mobility of your wrist
- You will be prescribed pain medications to relieve any pain
What are the advantages of arthroscopic wrist surgery?
Wrist arthroscopy allows your surgeon to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems affecting your wrist joint. It is a minimally invasive surgery that avoids the need for a large skin incision and helps inspeedy recovery.