Arthroscopy is a diagnostic procedure that allows orthopedic surgeons to look within a joint and correct any irregularities. The Greek words “arthroscopy” and “skopein” denote “joint” and “scope,” respectively. The word means “to look inside the joint.”

A slight indentation in the patient’s skin is made, and a pencil-sized device with a small lens and lighting system is inserted to magnify and highlight the structures inside the joint. Fiber optics send light to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted into the joint.

By attaching the arthroscope to a compact camera, the surgeon may see the interior of the joint through this incredibly small incision rather than the larger incision necessary for open surgery.

What is an arthroscope’s purpose?

An arthroscope is a thin tube that is introduced into the body to observe internal organs. The kit includes a lens system, a small video camera, and a viewing light. The camera is linked to a monitoring system, which allows a surgeon to keep an eye on the process as it occurs. In addition to the arthroscope, other tools that are inserted through a second cut or incision are frequently used. Gripping, cutting, and probing are all done with these devices.

Group of orthopedic surgeons performing a wrist arthroscopy on a male patient

Which arthroscopic procedures are performed?

Arthroscopy or a combination of arthroscopy and open surgery is used for the following procedures:

– Rotator cuff repair – In the knee or shoulder, torn cartilage (meniscus) is repaired or resected.

– Reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in the knee

– Synovium is removed from the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle – The carpal tunnel in the wrist is opened.

– Ligament reattachment – Loose bone or cartilage removal from the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle

What is the arthroscopy procedure?

Even though arthroscopic surgery is less invasive in terms of recovery than open surgery, it still requires anesthetics and specialized equipment in a hospital operating theatre or outpatient surgical suite. You will be given a general, spinal, or local anesthetic, depending on the joint or suspected condition.

A small indentation will be made to implant the arthroscope (about the size of a buttonhole). To see additional parts of the joint or implant other instruments, different incisions may be required.

During corrective surgery, specific tools are delivered into the joint through accessory incisions. Initially, arthroscopy was solely used to plan open surgery as a diagnostic tool. Arthroscopy techniques may now be utilized to treat a wide spectrum of disorders because of the advancement of better instruments and surgical procedures.

Group of orthopedic surgeons performing a wrist arthroscopy on a male patient

After surgery, the tiny incisions will be wrapped with a bandage. You will be moved to a recovery room from the operating room. Many people just need a tiny dose of pain medicine.

Before being discharged, you will be given advice on how to care for your incisions, which activities to avoid, and which exercises to do to aid your recovery. During your follow-up visit, the surgeon will examine your incisions, remove any sutures if required, and review your rehabilitation plan.

The severity of your problem will influence the amount of surgery and recovery time required. Occasionally, during arthroscopy, the surgeon will discover that the damage or condition cannot be successfully addressed by arthroscopy alone. More extensive open surgery may be performed while you are still sedated, or after you have discussed the findings with your physician.

What are some of the benefits of arthroscopy?

People may prefer it to other surgical options since arthroscopy typically involves:

– tissue injury is decreased – healing time is shortened – fewer stitches are used

– Because the incisions are smaller, there is less pain and a lower risk of infection after the procedure.

Arthroscopy, on the other hand, is not suitable for all patients. There is limited evidence that knee arthroscopy can help people with osteoarthritis or degenerative diseases.

Keep an open mind and ask as many questions as you need to understand why your doctor advises you to avoid arthroscopic surgery.

Arthroscopic surgery has progressed from a desirable alternative to open surgery to the standard of therapy for many types of joint problems. Arthroscopy isn’t a one-size-fits-all technique, though.

Dr Karthik Gudaru
Relieve Pain. Recapture Your Life.
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Copyright 2022 by Dr. Karthik Gudaru. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2022 by Dr. Karthik Gudaru. All rights reserved.