This is a new technology that became available in early 2015. This technology allows physicians to view and diagnose intra-articular problems in the joints (knee & shoulder) using a small needle with a camera inside under local anesthesia. Dr. Bryan Jennings is one of the only physicians in the southeast performing these procedures on a regular basis.
Does it hurt?
Not usually, the skin and joint is numbed with an injection which not more uncomfortable than a regular intra-articular injection in the office. Fluid is intermittently injected through the needle to aid in visualization inside the joint. This causes one to feel like there joint is swollen short-term and typically resolves in 24 hours.
How long does it take?
Start to finish it takes approximately 20 minutes or so.
How much does it cost?
We pre-cert the procedure prior to it being performed and is usually covered by one’s office co-pay. Occasionally, an additional fee may be required depending on patient insurance plans and this is discussed with the patient prior to proceeding. However, it is usually much cheaper than a MRI and can be performed at the same office visit – providing excellent continuity of care.
What happens after the diagnostic arthroscopy?
If the suspected intra-articular pathology is confirmed then often recommendations are made for surgical intervention – an “out-patient arthroscopy”. In the event the suspected intra-articular pathology is not confirmed, the joint may be injected at the same time with cortisone if indicated, and further conservative care is recommended.
Can conditions be treated?
Currently, the technology does not allow treatment of the intra-articular pathology. However, it is conceivable that with further advances in the future, this may be possible for some conditions in the office.