Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used by orthopaedic surgeons to diagnose and treat problems inside a joint. The wrist is a complex joint with eight small bones and many connecting ligaments. Arthroscopy enables the surgeon to see the anatomic parts and their movements without making large incisions into the muscle and tissue. An arthroscope is used for two reasons: to make more accurate diagnoses (diagnostic arthroscopy) and to correct any problems with the joint.
Arthroscopic surgery is a valuable diagnostic and treatment tool. Because it needs fewer and smaller incisions (ie, it is minimally invasive), patients generally have fewer problems and a more rapid recovery than with regular surgery. Because it is usually an outpatient procedure, most patients return home several hours after surgery.