Wrist arthroscopy is a keyhole procedure which allows the surgeon to view the inside of the wrist joint.
The procedure is performed under general anaesthetic. A small stab incision is made on the back of the wrist. A scope is passed into the wrist joint and a display of the joint anatomy is watched on a monitor.
Usually at least one further stab incision is made to allow instruments to be passed into the joint. Probes can be inserted to examine cartilage and ligaments and check for any tearing. A small shaver can be inserted to debride any areas of torn cartilage and to remove inflamed tissue.
Arthroscopy is sometimes combined with fracture fixation of the wrist. It allows an accurate assessment of the joint surface once a fracture has been reduced.
Wrist arthroscopy is very useful for both diagnosing and treating problems within the joint.
Arthroscopy can often be performed as a day case and patients may be able to go home a few hours after the operation. The wound is usually closed with dissolving sutures. Most patients are able to start moving their wrist within a few days after the surgery depending on the extent of the condition.