The Arthroscopic Operation
An arm block or general anaesthetic is required. A tourniquet is placed on the arm, and the upper limb is put in a device (traction tower), to hold your wrist in the correct position. Some small incisions are used to place the telescope and small instruments into the different parts of the wrist joint, typically 3-4 in number. The wounds are sufficiently small enough to usually not require suturing.
The inside of the different parts of the wrist joint are visualised, and some conditions are treated, as discussed between myself and each patient before the procedure. If required, other joints discussed pre-operatively can also be assessed, such as the base of the thumb, distal radio-ulnar joint, piso-triquetral joint and some finger joints.
Risks of wrist arthroscopy include infection (under 1%), bleeding, stiffness, wound tenderness, tendon/nerve/blood vessel injury and no resolution of symptoms.
Arthroscopy Post-Operative Care
Most arthroscopic procedures will require a small bandage post-operatively, which is reduced to a small dressing after two days, and then no dressings after a further week. Near to full recovery usually takes 4 weeks for diagnostic arthroscopy (simply looking around the wrist at arthroscopy). In procedures involving complex work within the joint, the post-operative treatment and splinting and recovery time will vary according to the nature of the operation, and Mr Jarrett will discuss this with you before the operation. Your wounds can be washed and moisturised from 10 days post-op.