Any damage to your wrist can cause pain and affect your daily life. While many options exist to diagnose and treat wrist pain, arthroscopy continues to be an effective and popular option. Before your pain becomes too much to manage, it’s best to seek urgent care to address your pain.
Read on to find everything you need to know about when you need an arthroscopy for wrist pain.
How to Address Wrist Pain
Wrist pain treatments will vary depending on the cause and severity of your pain. For minor cases, your doctor may advise you to ice your wrist and rest. They may also recommend pain medication. However, if the pain worsens or is persistent, you may need to undergo arthroscopy to get to the root cause and, in many cases, treat the problem.
Common Causes of Wrist Pain
Rheumatoid arthritis is a condition in which your immune system attacks healthy tissue in joints. Osteoarthritis occurs when the cartilage around the ends of your bones deteriorates over time. However, osteoarthritis in the wrist usually occurs for people who have previously had a wrist injury.
Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
You develop carpal tunnel syndrome when a nerve running the length of your forearm — the median nerve — is compressed. Aside from pain, you may experience tingling and numbness on your fingers and hand.
Ganglion cysts are soft, fluid-filled lumps that commonly occur on tendons and joints. While they don’t typically cause problems on their own, they can cause pain if they press on nerves or tissues.
Wrist injuries can happen if you suddenly fall onto your outstretched hand. This accident can cause strains, sprains, and bone fractures.
Wrist injuries can also occur from repetitive stress. If you are engaged in an activity that involves repetitive wrist motion, you are prone to wrist pain. Performing these motions for long periods of time can inflame the tissues around your wrist joints or cause stress fractures.
If you engage in sports, you may suffer from sports injuries that can include wrist pain.
This disease occurs when the blood supply to your wrist decreases, causing bones in your wrist to degrade in a process called osteonecrosis. Kienböck’s disease typically affects young adults.
When Is Arthroscopy Needed?
Wrist pain can stem from sudden injuries or long-term problems. Different factors can lead to wrist pain, so diagnosing the exact cause can be challenging. If you were in an accident that led to severe wrist pain, seek an orthopedic urgent care service provider immediately.
Your doctor will usually conduct imaging tests to diagnose the cause. However, your doctor may resort to arthroscopy if the results of these tests are inconclusive.
Arthroscopy can help enlighten your doctor if there are some diagnostic questions left unanswered by the imaging tests. Furthermore, arthroscopy can address or supplement the treatment of many conditions right then and there.
What to Expect From an Arthroscopy
Before the Procedure
Your doctor may advise you to avoid certain medications and supplements. This is to decrease your risk of excessive bleeding during surgery.
Furthermore, depending on the type of anesthesia you receive, you may or may not need to fast. If the procedure is quick, you may need local anesthesia. However, if the arthroscopy will take a while, general anesthesia may be used to keep you unconscious and pain-free during the procedure.
During the Procedure
Your doctor will make a small incision on your wrist for the device, called the arthroscope, to enter. This instrument contains a tiny camera that will project the inside of your joints onto a monitor. Additional small incisions might be necessary at different points around the joint for your surgeon to insert other surgical tools, as needed.
The incisions will be small enough that you will only need one or two stitches. The incisions may also be closed with slim strips of sterile adhesive tape.
After the Procedure
After the procedure, you may be escorted to a separate room to recover for a few hours. Your doctor will then discuss your aftercare. It can include medications to help with pain and inflammation. Another thing your doctor may recommend is icing the area to help with swelling.
Once there is no more swelling, your doctor may suggest physical therapy to improve joint function and strengthen the muscles around the area.
Benefits Of Arthroscopy Over Traditional Surgery
Traditional open surgery requires your doctor to expose large sections of your wrist or arm to operate. This type of surgery causes significant tissue damage, increases the likelihood of some complications, and requires a lengthy recovery period.
Arthroscopy uses a comparatively tiny incision. Furthermore, your doctor can use it to perform visual diagnostics of a problem site if imaging tests prove inconclusive. Unlike traditional open surgery, arthroscopy is typically either an outpatient or in-office procedure, and you can return home almost immediately afterward.
Wrist Pain Treatment in Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, and Boca Raton, FL
If you’re searching for a gifted orthopedic surgeon, look no further than Dr. Steve Meadows of South Palm Orthopedics. Dr. Meadows is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon with more than 25 years of clinical experience in upper-extremity conditions, including surgical and nonsurgical treatments.
To schedule an appointment with Dr. Meadows, call us today at (561) 496-6622 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to serving you!
We look forward to helping you treat your wrist pain!