Arthroscopy is a way to gain information about a joint injury or region of damage when X-rays and other imaging tests can’t show enough. At Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C. in Englewood and Aurora, Colorado, John Schwappach, MD, uses arthroscopy to examine joint damage or make minor repairs within a joint. To see if you’re a candidate for this minimally invasive procedure, call Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., or schedule an appointment online today.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that serves two functions: diagnosing or repairing damage within a joint. At Denver Metro Orthopedics, Dr. Schwappach offers joint arthroscopy as a way of viewing damage directly and in real-time if you experience joint pain.
During arthroscopy, the provider makes small incisions around the injured joint. If he is simply using the procedure to view the inside, a single incision will suffice. Through that incision, he inserts a long camera called an arthroscope with a light on the end. The feed from the camera appears live on a nearby high-definition screen.
By viewing the inside of a joint with an arthroscopy, Dr. Schwappach can make a diagnosis and assess the degree of damage for treatment planning.
In some cases, he may make repairs using the arthroscope for guidance. He manipulates small instruments through additional button-sized incisions to remove bone fragments or repair torn or inflamed tissue.
Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C. offers arthroscopy for injuries and damage affecting the following joints:
Your shoulder is a ball-and-socket joint with a wide range of movement, which is unfortunately prone to an array of injuries. Dr. Schwappach can use shoulder arthroscopy to diagnose or manage impingements, rotator cuff tears, instability, damaged cartilage, bone spurs, or arthritis of the collarbone.
Your elbow is a hinge joint, so it doesn’t have the same range of motion as your shoulder. An elbow arthroscopy can diagnose or treat scar tissue, torn cartilage, arthritis, or bone spurs.
Your hips, which are also ball-and-socket joints, connect your legs to your torso. Using hip arthroscopy, the providers can diagnose or treat torn cartilage, bone spurs, inflammatory arthritis, fractures, and ligament tears.
Knee arthroscopy targets the knee joint. While it’s a hinge joint, it’s very complex and bears much of your weight. Knee arthroscopy can help Dr. Schwappach diagnose or treat a torn meniscus, inflamed synovial tissue, torn ligaments, patellar misalignment, a Baker’s cyst, or certain fractures within the knee.
Preparations before an arthroscopy depend on the specific joint and other factors, like the medications you take. The provider makes sure you know what to expect and how to prepare in your case. Your preparation instructions might include:
Dr. Schwappach discusses options for anesthesia with you well in advance of the procedure and gives you detailed answers to your questions about the process.
To determine if arthroscopy is necessary for your diagnosis, treatment, or both, call Denver Metro Orthopedics, P.C., or reserve an appointment online today.