Francisco del Piñal, MD, PhD, Francisco J. García-Bernal, MD, PhD, Daniele Pisani, MD, Javier Regalado, MD, Higinio Ayala, MD, Alexis Studer, MD
J Hand Surg 2007;32A:119–123. Copyright © 2007 by the American Society for Surgery of the Hand.)
Purpose: To present a method to perform arthroscopic exploration and instrumentation without infusing any fluid.
Methods: The hand is suspended from a bow, with traction on all fingers. Portals are developed as in the classic (wet) wrist arthroscopic procedure except that no water is infused to distend the joint and create the optic cavity. For this procedure the joint must be dried; we use suction through the synoviotomes and neurosurgical patties to accomplish this.
Results: We have performed more than 100 wrist arthroscopies using the dry technique without any undue difficulty.
Conclusions: The dry technique is as effective as the classic procedure, without the cumbersome leakage of water or the risk of compartment syndrome. It allows some sophisticated arthroscopic procedures to be performed that would be impracticable with water. In addition from these benefits, if open surgery is performed after the arthroscopic exploration then the tissue planes are dry, making surgery much easier. The technique is believed to be inappropriateif thermal probes are used. A learning curve exists.