Hand arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgery well suited for making delicate repairs on the complex structures of the hand. Arthroscopic hand surgery utilizes a piece of equipment called an arthroscope which is a flexible tube that has a small camera on the end as well as its own lighting system. Arthroscopic hand surgery allows your surgeon to utilize thin, streamlined instruments to navigate and repair the tendons, bones, joints and ligaments of the hand.
BENEFITS OF HAND ARTHROSCOPY
The camera on the end of the arthroscope allows your surgeon to see the minute details of the hand structure, helping improve accuracy and repair time. Arthroscopic hand surgery requires only a couple of small incisions versus the larger incisions of open hand surgery. By using minimally invasive hand arthroscopy, trauma to hand tissue is lessened, as are scarring, pain and recovery time.
WHEN IS HAND ARTHROSCOPY USED?
Common hand arthroscopy surgical procedures include removal of arthritic bone and joint reconstruction (joint arthroplasty), bone fusion or realignment techniques. Your surgeon will evaluate the specifics of your condition, including location and severity. Some conditions that lend themselves to arthroscopic hand surgery include:
RECOVERY AFTER HAND ARTHROSCOPY
The small puncture wounds of arthroscopic hand surgery take several days to heal, as opposed to a couple of weeks for open surgical incisions. The dressing can usually be removed the morning after surgery and an adhesive bandage can be applied. It is fairly common for patients to go back to work or school or resume daily activities within a few days. People who have hand arthroscopy can have many different diagnoses and pre-existing conditions, so each patient’s arthroscopic hand surgery is unique to that person. Recovery time will reflect these individual variables.
Although the puncture wounds are small and pain in the joint that underwent hand arthroscopy is minimal, it will take several weeks for the joint to heal. Your doctor may recommend a physical therapy and rehabilitation program to speed your recovery and help ensure proper joint function.