1. What is arthroscopic debridement?
2. What is arthroscopic debridement used to treat?
3. What can patients expect on the day of an arthroscopic debridement procedure?
4. Is arthroscopic debridement safe?
5. How long does it take to recover from arthroscopic debridement?
6. What type of doctor performs arthroscopic debridement?
Arthroscopic debridement is a minimally invasive procedure used to remove broken and damaged sections of joint cartilage to help improve mobility and reduce pain. It is often used to treat cases of arthritis or instability of the wrist, knee, hip or ankle joints.
Arthroscopic debridement, also known as arthroscopic surgery, can be used to treat a range of joint issues including:
As arthroscopic procedures are minimally invasive, they can be performed as an outpatient surgery meaning that patients don't usually have to stay in the hospital overnight. Local or general anaesthesia is administered before the procedure to alleviate pain.
The surgeon makes an incision near to the affected joint area and an arthroscope is inserted. An arthroscope is a medical instrument with a camera and light to allow the surgeon to see what is happening in the problem area. Then, using small surgical tools, the surgeon will take the necessary steps to resolve the problem, making use of the live video camera footage before closing the wound.
As the procedure is minimally invasive, the usual surgical risks of bleeding and infection are reduced. You may be prescribed pain medication and antibiotics as part of your recovery programme.
Recovery time of arthroscopic procedures compared to open surgery is significantly lower. Following the doctor's instructions about keeping the surgical wound clean and returning to physical activity helps patients to make a good recovery.
Arthroscopic debridement is performed by an orthopaedic surgeon. A specialist anaesthetist will need to be consulted before the surgery.