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VisionScope Imaging (VSI)

VisionScope Imaging (VSI) at UVM Health Network - CVMC

Orthopedic surgeons at UVM Health Network - CVMC are the only surgeons in Vermont using VisionScope Imaging, an in-office diagnostic exam that takes minutes.

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VSI is an in-office diagnostic exam that allows for high-definition, direct visualization of inside your joint and immediate insight into the root cause of your discomfort. A VSI exam takes about 10 minutes, uses a tiny needle camera scope (smaller in diameter than a bicycle spoke) and requires only local anesthesia. So, in a matter of minutes you can see what is going on inside your joint and, at the same time, participate in the treatment plan discussion.

Revolutionary technology brings change and choice

Until now, MRI has been the go-to non-surgical diagnostic tool to help inform a diagnosis. However, MRI can be expensive and inconclusive – unable to pinpoint the source and/or severity of discomfort. And in cases where MRI is not an option (pacemaker, implants, claustrophobia, obesity), surgical diagnostic arthroscopy has been the only definitive option. With VSI – we now have a choice: a non-surgical diagnostic tool that’s accurate, effective and fits easily into our patients’ busy schedules and lifestyles. 

The benefits are clear:

  • Accuracy equivalent to surgical diagnostic arthroscopy
  • 5-10 minute exam
  • No general anesthesia, stitches, or recovery time
  • No unnecessary time off from work/life commitments
  • No follow-up visits or additional testing appointments
  • Less expensive
  • Treatment option discussions – and decisions – made during the VSI exam appointment

What to Expect: Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a VSI exam take? 

A VSI appointment may be about 30 minutes. The VSI exam itself only takes about 5 minutes.

What should I expect during a VSI exam?

The VSI exam is performed by your doctor in an office exam room. Your joint will be cleaned and sterilized with an alcohol pad and iodine swab and then numbed with a local anesthetic (via a tiny needle). The purpose of VSI is to capture diagnostic information. Images and video can be taken, immediately showing you the results of the exam and allow you to discuss treatment options with your physician.

What will I feel in a VSI exam?

A VSI exam typically does not hurt or cause pain. Your joint is numbed by the anesthetic. Some patients occasionally feel a slight pressure (it feels like someone is pressing on your joint) during the exam and some feel mild soreness the next day.

Will I need a ride home?

VSI requires only a local anesthetic (not general anesthesia). Therefore, you will be able to walk or use your arm/hand afterwards without assistive devices such as crutches, a brace or a sling. You should be able to drive yourself home and carry on with all of your daily activities. Your physician will discuss your activity level with you during the exam.

Will I need stitches to close the wound?

VSI is performed through a very small needle scope. Once the procedure is complete, very small bandage strips (Steri-strips) and a standard band-aid bandage will be applied. No sutures or stitches are required.

Will I need to miss work for this exam? 

VSI is a minimally-invasive procedure and should not cause you to miss work. You are able to walk and drive immediately following the exam and should be able to carry on with your normal course of business. Your physician will discuss more about this during your exam.

Click here for more information about VSI and to watch patient videos.