Wrist Arthroscopy in Kansas City

Wrist Arthroscopy


Your Solution to
Hand & Wrist Discomfort.

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Understanding the Basics Behind Hand & Wrist Pain


What is Wrist Arthroscopy?

Wrist injuries are often classified as being either acute or chronic. An acute injury occurs as the result of a single incident, like a fall during sports or a strain doing a daily task. Chronic wrist conditions often develop as the result of repeated micro traumas over a period of time.

Both conditions can worsen if left untreated and can greatly impact your function. Regardless of wrist issues you’re dealing with—whether it’s a sprain, strain, fracture, ligament tear—help is available. The highly skilled providers at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance can help you find the necessary treatments to get you back to pain-free living.

Our providers believe in utilizing conservative approaches to managing wrist injuries whenever possible. If it’s determined that a wrist arthroscopy in Kansas City is the right treatment for you, we’ll create a treatment plan based on your individual needs, symptoms, and goals.

Your First Appointment for Hand & Wrist Injuries

Choosing a wrist arthroscopy in Kansas City is a decision that typically involves guidance from your primary care doctor and orthopedic physician. When you choose Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance, one of our highly-trained orthopedic hand and wrist specialists will conduct an initial evaluation to better understand your condition. After a complete review of your results, your provider will discuss whether wrist arthroscopy is the best treatment option for you.

Your First Appointment

Common injuries that may require a wrist arthroscopy include:

  • Torn ligaments
  • Instability
  • Fractures
  • Loose bodies in the joint
  • Misalignment
  • Ganglion Cyst Removal

Both acute and chronic injuries can be corrected by the experts at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. When you visit us, we’ll take the time to determine the cause of your pain and determine whether a treatment like wrist arthroscopy is best for you.

 

When a patient visits one of our KCOA offices, a skilled orthopedic specialist will ask you questions regarding your symptoms, what aggravates/alleviates your symptoms, and whether you have attempted prior therapies. Next comes a thorough physical exam. We will then review any images you bring with you and/or take new images. After determining the cause of your pain, we can discuss if wrist arthroscopy will work best for your needs.

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance hand & Wrist Assessment


Assessing the Injury

Determining the proper treatment process for hand and wrist injuries starts with an assessment from one of our experienced providers. You can think of hand and wrist pain as a spectrum, with some instances being more severe than others.

The KCOA orthopedic specialists always focus on each patient and their concerns before creating a treatment plan.

Therefore, during your initial appointment, we will often ask questions such as:

  • Does your pain currently limit you or your activities?
  • Has your pain progressed or worsened recently?
  • Did you notice or hear a popping sound at the time of your injury?
  • Have you noticed any change in your symptoms that has made it more challenging to function?
  • What are your lifestyle goals?
  • How has pain affected those goals?

 

From there, we can decide what treatment option will align best with your needs and lifestyle goals.

Examination

Once we’ve completed a proper assessment, your provider will often begin with a physical examination to help determine the origin point of your pain. In some cases, advanced testing may be necessary for a complete diagnosis. This may include: 

X-Ray

Also called radiographs, an X-ray captures a picture of the wrist. Orthopedic physicians may order an X-ray to rule out the possibility of a fracture (broken bone), osteoarthritis, or other bone-related conditions.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)

MRI captures images of muscles, bones, ligaments, cartilage, and tendons to help provide information other tests can’t detail. During an MRI, you will lie on a table that slides into a tube-shaped scanner. The machine creates a magnetic field around you, using pulsed radio waves to form the MRI images.

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Establishing a Care Plan

Based on the results of your interview, examination, and imaging studies, you can expect a custom care plan catered specifically to you.

Many people believe it’s best to wait until their pain becomes severe, leading them to “put off” or delay treatments like wrist arthroscopy. 

If you are in constant discomfort, have shooting or stabbing pains, have limited range of motion, or increasing inability to perform your daily activities, a treatment like wrist arthroscopy may be right for you. New technologies allow patients with severe hand and wrist concerns to fully recover and enjoy the benefits of a more active, pain-free lifestyle.

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Pre-Op

Prior to surgery, you will typically receive at least two phone calls:

  • A hospital registration representative will call to gather insurance and other personal information.
  • A registered nurse will call to review your health history and medication information.

Dependent on your health history, your physician may require:

  • Pre-surgical laboratory tests
  • X-rays
  • Primary care clearance

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Pre-Op

Pre-operative instructions will vary depending on your physician and the location of your surgery. Always check with your physician before surgery for their specific instructions.

Most physicians require that patients not eat or drink after midnight prior to surgery. Additionally, you will need to designate a family member or friend to drive you home on the day the hospital releases you. Surgical patients cannot drive themselves home.

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Day of Surgery

If you schedule your surgery at the Kansas City Orthopaedic Institute, you can expect the following on surgery day:

  • A receptionist will check you in at the registration desk.
  • A nurse will take you back and prepare you for surgery. They will start an IV, prepare the surgical site, and review your medical history and medications.
  • Your surgeon and anesthesiologist will visit with you prior to your operation.
  • The surgical team will take you to the operation suite for surgery.

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How it Works

Wrist arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows surgeons to see inside the joint. A small tube with a camera is inserted through a minor incision, allowing the surgeon to make a more definitive diagnosis and eliminating the need for a large surgical incision.

Arthroscopy can assist in diagnosing issues by allowing the surgeon to view the actual tissue in the target area. Arthroscopy is also the most common method used to treat many orthopedic conditions in the wrist.

During a wrist arthroscopy in Kansas City, you will remain under general anesthesia. The surgeon fills the wrist with fluid and makes several small incisions around the area so they can insert a tiny camera (arthroscope) into the joint, giving them a clear guide for the surgical instruments. Saline fluid flows through the arthroscope to keep the image clear and your bleeding minimal. This is different from open surgery, which requires a larger incision and often longer recovery times.

After assessing the injury and condition, your surgeon will begin the repair. Wrist arthroscopy gives access to many repair options, such as removing inflamed tissue or loose bone fragments and cartilage, releasing scar tissue that is blocking motion, and treating fractures and breaks.

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Post-Op

A patient’s recovery plan and timeline will vary based on a variety of factors, including the procedure performed, age, activity level, goals, and more. However, taking care of your body is essential to ensure optimal results from your wrist arthroscopy. In the immediate aftermath of your surgery, it’s important to keep your hand elevated to reduce swelling in the wrist.  Your care team may prescribe medications to assist with pain and soreness.

For many patients undergoing a wrist arthroscopy, there will be a period of time where you’ll need to limit (or keep off entirely) the amount of weight you put on your hand and wrist.  After surgery, you can expect swelling, soreness, and bruising around the area, which is normal. If you require stitches or staples, they are often removed 10-14 days after the surgery.  

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What to Expect

Your provider team will provide you with customized instructions on how to progress your recovery.  Occupational or physical therapy may be necessary to help guide you through structured exercises and stretches. This is one way to help you achieve the best outcome possible following your arthroscopy. Timelines for recovery vary dramatically from a few weeks to months, depending on the procedure performed.

Our Process

Symptoms


Common Signs and Symptoms of Hand & Wrist Injuries

There are numerous potential causes of pain when it comes to hand and wrist injuries. Similar to other areas of your body, there are a number of different parts working together in your hand and wrist, leading to many different chances for injury or chronic pain. Each of these causes comes with its own distinct set of symptoms.

Wrist arthroscopies are a relatively common procedure performed at clinics across the country, and successful ones can treat a number of issues to provide long-term relief. While our preference at KCOA is always to find non-surgical ways to treat pain, wrist arthroscopy may be necessary if a patient’s wrist doesn’t respond to these treatments. Hand and wrist injuries can also worsen based on certain risk factors, such as age, activity level, whether you’re a healthy weight, and more.

Causes

Causes of Hand & Wrist Pain

The body has a number of different joints that all work in unison in order to function normally. The hand/wrist, in particular. is a complex area with numerous joints, ligaments and nerve structures that are potentially at risk for injury. The severity of your hand and wrist pain will vary depending on a few different key factors, including both the location and the source of the problem.

Whether you’re suffering from an acute or chronic injury, the hand and wrist specialists at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance are here to assist. We’ll help you find the root cause of your pain and determine whether a wrist arthroscopy or another treatment process is right for you. Common causes of hand and wrist pain include:

Treatment Alternatives

Non-Surgical Treatment

In most cases, surgery is not the first option for treatment at Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance. If we can treat your hand and wrist issues with more conservative treatments, we’ll choose those options. We typically exhaust all non-surgical options prior to recommending surgery. 

Non-surgical treatments for the hand & wrist and include:

  • Occupational/Physical Therapy – A trained therapist will focus on the issue that’s causing the pain or symptoms as well as the deficits that are present as a result of the injury.  Stretches, strengthening exercises, manual soft tissue work, and modalities like hot and cold therapy may help you recover.
  • Medications – Your doctor may recommend over-the-counter NSAIDs (Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as Advil) or prescription medications. Especially with NSAIDs, you should always talk to your doctor to ensure they are the right treatment for you. 
  • Injections – Therapeutic injections can help reduce inflammation, and the effects tend to last for 3 to 6 months. During that time, we often encourage patients to work with a therapist to improve strength and flexibility, while their symptoms are being aided by the medication. Many people manage their pain with injections and physical therapy.
  • Regenerative Medicines – Regenerative medicines like stem cell injections or platelet-rich plasma can help nourish worn or damaged tissue. This option works best if you have mild-to-moderate wrist pain.

F.A.Q.

Frequently Asked Questions

Kansas City Orthopedic Alliance is here to help.

Our care is personal. Our team is knowledgeable. And we’re more available than ever.

With access to board-certified specialists across Kansas City, we have the tools to meet almost every musculoskeletal condition.

Use our Symptom Tracker Tool to connect with the right KCOA physician for your unique needs—and get back to the things that matter most.

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Testimonials

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best!

Dr. Ting and his staff are the best! Sarah his nurse is kind and supportive. Dr. Tings nurse for surgery was absolutely the best! Dr. Ting, I have complete faith in. He is who I shall go to for anything he handles! Can’t say enough about him! Thank you all for making a scary time a completely peaceful event. You are the best!!

Valene Vanice

Staff is great

…just did my husbands hands on Wed. last week and can’t believe how well he is doing. We have already recommended you to our son and a few others. Your staff is great and my husband doing well. Thanks to you.

Sandra Lane

I left a very happy patient.

…I arrived a little bit late. I got checked in quickly and was back in a room within 10 minutes. Dr Rhodes was very friendly and took the time to pull up pictures of my surgery and show them and explain them to me. I left a very happy patient.

Michael Bachmann

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best

Dr. Scott Ellsworth is one of the best I have ever worked with. He is knowledgeable, efficient, caring, and knows his patients. He has a special bedside manner that makes any patient in any situation feel comfortable. All of the nurses and office staff are wonderful as well.

Deb Woodard

I'm consistently impressed

In the process of treating my particular problem I’ve been to Apex probably 4-5 times. I’m consistently impressed by the professionalism of the staff and the amount of care & time they spend with me as a patient. They’re always very careful to make sure I understand the nature of the medical problem, the reasons for the diagnosis, and the type of treatment recommended. Stephanie’s care and concern is especially appreciated.

 

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