people rowing a boat in the middle of a lake

Can Endoscopic Surgery Treat Rheumatoid Arthritis?

April 03, 2020

Man holds his right arm as superimposed image of bones underneath show inflammation

Rheumatoid arthritis is a chronic inflammatory disorder that can impede joint mobility and cause significant discomfort. Many people with this condition seek surgical treatments to alleviate the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis.

At Orthopedic Specialists of Austin, our fellowship-trained and board-certified surgeons can perform endoscopic surgery to treat rheumatoid arthritis without the need for large incisions. If you live in or near Austin, TX, and are wondering if endoscopic surgery can relieve joint-related pain, we invite you to read this overview of the procedure and its potential benefits.

What Is Endoscopic Surgery?

Traditional surgery requires that large incisions be made to access the treatment area. By comparison, endoscopic surgery is minimally invasive and requires a series of small incisions. The endoscope, a flexible tube that is equipped with a camera and a light, allows surgeons to perform a wide range of procedures without the need for large incisions.

Tens of millions of endoscopic procedures are performed each year. Endoscopic surgery allows for a faster recovery and is associated with a lower rate of complications when compared to traditional surgery.

In some cases, your treatment may involve the use of a smaller version of an endoscope known as a laparoscope. This approach allows for very small, key-hole-sized surgical incisions.

Endoscopic Surgery Treatment Options for Rheumatoid Arthritis

For most of our Austin patients, rheumatoid arthritis can be treated without the need for surgery. But when joint pain and mobility issues impede an individual's ability to perform everyday functions, endoscopic surgery can provide significant relief.

Three common endoscopic surgery options include joint replacement, synovectomy, and arthrodesis.

Joint Replacement

Joint replacement surgery can relieve pain from inflamed large or small joints. Endoscopic joint replacement surgery removes all or part of a damaged joint and replaces it with a synthetic replacement. Our board-certified doctors will use the latest orthopedic surgery techniques to relieve your symptoms and improve your quality of life.


A synovectomy surgically removes part of the synovial tissue that surrounds a joint. This procedure can be performed using small incisions, an endoscope, and small surgical instruments.

This minimally invasive procedure can be effective when inflamed synovial tissue does not respond to medication. Once the patient recovers, inflammation can be reduced or even eliminated.


Arthrodesis can treat arthritic ankles, wrists, and other painful joints. The endoscopic surgery removes a damaged joint and fuses the neighboring bones. The procedure limits mobility in the affected joints, but the relief from discomfort often far outweighs this setback.

Endoscopic Surgery Recovery

Your recovery timeline will depend on the type of procedure that was performed and other factors like age and your overall health.

Joint replacement surgery will require rest and physical therapy. Following joint replacement surgery, patients should expect to rest and recover for four to six weeks or as advised by the doctor. Recovery following endoscopic surgery will be faster compared to traditional surgery.

Schedule Your Endoscopic Surgery Consultation Today

If your rheumatoid arthritis requires surgical treatment, our doctors will use the latest orthopedic surgery techniques to improve your quality of life. Endoscopic surgery is less invasive than traditional surgery. This advanced treatment option allows you to resume daily activities sooner.

To schedule your endoscopic surgery consultation, please contact our office online or call (512) 476-2830.