Are you living with undiagnosed joint pain? You are not alone. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, severe joint pain affects more than 14.6 million people in the U.S. Joint pain can exist in any of the body’s joints, including the hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, ankles, feet, jaw, and neck.

Detection of the source of your joint pain is the first step in successfully treating or reducing it. The Orthopaedics Team at Erlanger Western Carolina is here to help by using the latest evidence-based orthopaedic medicine and surgical techniques. One commonly recommended procedure is arthroscopy.

Arthroscopic surgery, also known simply as arthroscopy, is a minimally invasive procedure that uses a fiber-optic device to look within a joint rather than opening it completely, to diagnose and treat an array of joint disorders with minimal soft tissue violation. The camera transmits those images in real-time so that the surgeon is able to literally see inside the joint. Arthroscopy allows a doctor to diagnose both acute and chronic injuries, meaning those that have occurred over time.

Increasingly, arthroscopy also is being used as a treatment method in and of itself. While inside the joint, surgeons can make repairs that often alleviate the issue.

“There are many benefits to arthroscopy,” Eric Clarke, MD, Erlanger orthopaedic surgeon, says.

“It’s less traumatic on the joints — and it allows a surgeon to evaluate the joints thoroughly. We can repair cartilage defects and meniscal tears, as well as stabilize the joints.”

Is Arthroscopy Right for You?

Arthroscopy can be used to treat many different conditions and areas of the body, including the shoulders and knees. Some common injuries or conditions treated include:

• Shoulders: rotator cuff tears and recurrent dislocations

• Knees: meniscal tears, anterior cruciate ligament tears with instability and cartilage injuries

Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital is home to an exceptional orthopaedic care team with broad expertise. Board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians Drs. Eric Clarke and Stephen Purvis, and nurse practitioner Jesse Mayo, are ready to help create the right treatment plan for you if you feel persistent joint pain.

To make an appointment with Erlanger Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine at Erlanger Western Carolina Hospital in Murphy, call 828-266-0393.