Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that can be used for the elbow and other parts of the body, commonly the knee and shoulder. The procedure involves a very small incision (cut). The surgeon uses a small instrument the size of a pencil (a fiberoptic camera) to look inside the joint. The camera will project onto a screen, allowing the hand surgeon to see the different structures in your elbow. Sometimes, multiple incisions will be made so the surgeon can place the camera in multiple positions.
Elbow arthroscopy can be used for many different conditions, including:
The benefit of elbow arthroscopy is an easier recovery. Because the cut is so small, swelling and stiffness post-surgery will be minimized. Overall recovery is much faster with this procedure. After your procedure, you may be placed in an elbow splint, which will hold your elbow in place but allow you to still use your hand. You’ll be asked to elevate the arm after surgery, and you may be given a prescription for hand therapy.
Elbow arthroscopy is not used for all elbow conditions. Your surgeon will discuss the best treatment option for you, depending on your condition and its severity. Find a hand surgeon near you using the American Society for Surgery of the Hand’s online search tool: http://www.assh.org/handcare/Find-a-Hand-Surgeon
You can also learn more about what a hand surgeon does and what conditions they can treat here: http://www.assh.org/handcare/what-is-a-hand-surgeon