Arthroscopy is a type of minimally-invasive surgery that is used to diagnose and treat issues affecting the joints, such as the elbows. Arthroscopy is performed with a thin, flexible instrument called an arthroscope. The scope is inserted through a small incision near the elbow, and it is inflated with a small amount of inert gas to make it easier to see inside of the joint. The camera at the end of the scope sends a video feed to a monitor so the doctor can see and diagnose the condition. During the procedure, the physician uses specially-designed instruments to perform joint repair procedures or release nerve impingements that can cause pain and numbness. It can also be used to repair joint surfaces that have been damaged by trauma or arthritis.
Conditions treated with arthroscopic elbow surgery include:
- Tennis elbow
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Release of scar tissue
- Damage to the capitulum part of the humerus
- Removal of loose cartilage and bone fragments