Who is a good candidate for wrist arthroscopy?
There are several conditions which can necessitate wrist arthroscopy. If you have ligament instability or a ligament injury you may be suitable for the procedure. The wrist arthroscopy can help to assess the extent of damage, and then to repair the ligaments if necessary. Ganglion cysts at the wrist joint are another condition which can be treated arthroscopically, with an excision procedure.
What does wrist arthroscopy involve?
The procedure is performed through small incisions in the skin or 'portals' to gain access to the wrist joint. These incisions are made in places which minimise the risk of injury to surrounding tendons, nerves and blood vessels. The tiny camera (arthroscope) is inserted through one portal, with small instruments being inserted through the other incisions in order to make the necessary repairs. The length of the procedure will vary according to findings of the arthroscopy and whether any procedures need to be carried out. Following the procedure, a splint or soft bandage will be worn.
Complications are uncommon with wrist arthroscopy, but as with all surgical procedures, there is a small risk - rare issues can include nerve injury, infection and tendon injury. It should be noted that in general, there is less chance of complications with minimally invasive surgery such as wrist arthroscopy than there is with traditional open surgery.
Recovery from wrist arthroscopy
Following the procedure your wrist will be swollen, it is important to keep your arm elevated for the first few days immediately after surgery, this can help to reduce both pain and swelling. The length of time to resume normal activities will depend on the whether any further procedures are carried out. If no procedures are undertaken then activities can be resumed around two weeks following surgery. During the recovery period, you will be given a rehabilitation programme to help gradually build strength in the wrist and increase range of motion.
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