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 wrist fractures, ganglion cysts, ligament tears, and chronic pain. Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to view, diagnose, and treat problems of your wrist joint.
Wrist arthroscopy may be necessary to help in diagnosing:
Wrist arthroscopy is also used to treat conditions such as:
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.
Recovery following wrist arthroscopy is generally more comfortable for the patient than an open surgery which requires a larger incision. There is usually less pain following the procedure and the healing time is faster when compared to an open procedure. Wrist arthroscopy is performed as a day surgery where most patients are able to go home within several hours after their surgery.
Complications are fairly rare with wrist arthroscopy. However, some of the possible complications that can occur include scarring, bleeding, swelling, infection, numbness and injury to adjoining structures.