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What are some complications of arthroscopic surgery?

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Quick Answer

An arthroscopic operation can lead to such complications as infection, deep vein thrombosis, or pain that does not dissipate. Nerve injury and implant failure are technical mistakes that can also result from this type of operation, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.

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Full Answer

There is a perception among the public that arthroscopic procedures have less risk than other types of surgery, and recent medical advancements have made it possible for arthroscopic methods to be used for more types of surgery, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. As a result, an increasing number of surgical clients are requesting this type of surgery. Even though arthroscopic methods are not as invasive, there are still risks to consider.

Some of the complications occur after completion of the procedure, as stated by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Sometimes surgeons visit patients in the post-anesthesia care unit before the patients have emerged fully from the anesthetic, so they do not notice the signs of nerve injury or other conditions because the anesthetic masks it. There are also situations in which an on-call doctor responds to a complaint after surgery without understanding the situation, leading to additional complications. Within the surgical profession, practitioners remain aware of the specific possible complications of arthroscopic surgery at different joints, such as the shoulder, elbow, knee and hip.

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