Everything you need to know about Wrist Arthroscopies

Left to right: Liezl Muller, Marketing Manager, Dr Christo Lourens, Orthopaedic Surgeon and Anel Scheepers, Hospital Manager.
Written by: Dr Christo Lourens, Orthopaedic Surgeon.

Dr Christo Lourens performed his first wrist arthroscopy at Cure Paarl on the 13 December.

This is a relatively new method of identifying and treating specific wrist pathologies. This method has only been developed over the last 10 years.  The procedure involves being admitted to a medical facility for a day procedure, which will be done in theatre under anaesthesia.

Usually 2-3 small incisions (puncture wounds) are made where the arthroscopies are inserted, the anatomy of the wrist can then be examined on a monitor.

The ability to do arthroscopic procedures requires a specific level of training as well as courses that a committed upper limb orthopaedic surgeon will have to attend.  These procedures also require specialised equipment.

The following pathologies can be treated with arthroscopic procedures:

  1. Ganglion removals
  2. Wrist ligament repairs
  3. Removal of loose cartilage in the joint
  4. In addition to treatment of wrist fractures, where the joint surface can be evaluated

Patients will usually be required to wear a bandage or wrist splint post-operatively depending on the pathology that was treated.  Benefits of arthroscopic procedures include lower levels of post-operative pain and easier pain management as well as shorter recovery period.

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