This folder provides information about a mini-arthroscopy under local anesthesia.
What is a mini-arthroscopy?
A mini-arthroscopy is a minor surgical procedure during which the inside of a joint can be made visible by making use of an arthroscope. An arthroscope is an instrument, like a small camera, which consist of optical fibers. The joint is illuminated and images are projected on a screen.
The procedure takes place at the outpatient clinic 'Surgery', room number 345. This room is specially equipped for this purpose. You do not need to have an empty stomach for this procedure. Your treating physician discussed with you which joint (knee or ankle) we will investigate. In most cases this procedure is well tolerated. There is, however, a small risk of infection (<0.4%). Therefore, we work in a sterile environment to reduce this risk as much as possible.
What is the procedure?
We ask you to lie down on an examination table. The skin around the joint will be disinfected with chlorhexidine, an antiseptic disinfectant, and we cover the area around the joint with a sterile operation cloth. This cloth will cover you up to your chin. The joint will be anaesthetized locally, including surrounding tissues and skin. Because we use two portals for this procedure, the skin will be anaesthetized at two locations. The arthroscope will be inserted through the first portal, using a small incision. This portal will be subsequently used for inserting the instruments. With one of the instruments we can take samples of the synovial tissue, the inner layer of the joint. A hollow needle will be used to make the second portal via which we circulate fluid through the joint for rinsing. The whole procedure takes around 60 minutes. If your treating physician wants a therapeutic arthroscopy with excessive rinsing of the joint, the procedure will take longer (approximately 90 minutes). The one incision that is made is quite small. For this incision you will get only one suture. The suture does not dissolve spontaneously and has to be removed by your general practitioner within seven days after the mini-arthroscopy.
What can you expect after the procedure?
After the procedure the joint can be stiff. Nevertheless, you can use the joint as usual. However, we discourage you to come by car yourself and we advise you to ask someone to drive for you. The amount of strain you can put on the joint, depends on the amount of complaints you experience after the procedure. These complaints, like stiffness, pain and swelling, should resolve within two to three days.
The wound is not allowed to get wet the first 24 hours after the procedure. Afterwards, you can take a shower as usual. Additionally, it is advised not to soak the wound (for example take a bath, go swimming or go to the sauna) for up to 7 days. If the pain gets worse, you develop a fever, the wound gets infected, or you have other complaints or questions related to the procedure, please contact the department of Clinical Immunology and Rheumatology of the AMC. You can contact us 24 hours a day and seven days a week.
Telephone number office hours: 020-56 67765
Telephone number evenings/nights/weekends: 020-56 69111 (ask for the rheumatologist in attendance)
Afdeling Klinische Immunologie en Reumatologie / Patiëntenvoorlichting