Arthroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose and treat joint problems. The procedure involves the insertion of a narrow fibre-optic tube through a small incision in the operated area. A video camera is attached to one end of the arthroscope about the size of a buttonhole to view inside the joint on a high-definition video monitor.
By using this arthroscopy the surgeon can monitor the joint problems without making any large incisions. In some cases, surgeons even repair some type of joint problems during arthroscopy by inserting other supporting surgical instruments through additional small incisions. The procedure, if done arthroscopically instead of by any other traditional surgical technique, has the advantage of causing less tissue trauma, has less pain and gives a quicker recovery.
Why Arthroscopic Surgery is necessary?
Arthroscopic surgery is helpful for doctors to examine the cause of damage done to the joint or the extent of the damage done. The surgery is basically performed if doctors are unable to determine the source of the joint problem. There would be cases where the physician may find the joint to be damaged, but the diagnostic testing through X rays, CT scans, or MRI won’t be able to determine the extent and nature of the damage. In such cases, arthroscopy proves to be helpful in making the correct diagnosis.Doctors perform arthroscopy to treat a variety of joint conditions and most commonly it is done to the joints:
- Knee joints
- Shoulder joints
- Elbow joints
- Ankle joints
- Hip joints
- Wrist joints
For what diseases or conditions is arthroscopy considered?
Arthroscopy helps in diagnosing and also treating inflammatory, non-inflammatory and infectious types of arthritis. It also is useful in treating various injuries that happen within the joints. Degenerative arthritis or osteoarthritis can be clearly seen with the help of an arthroscope.
Patients who have rheumatoid arthritis and those suffering from isolated joint swelling can be highly beneficial when the inflamed joint tissue is removed through arthroscopy. The tissue that lines the joints can be examined and sent for biopsy under a microscope to find out the cause of the inflammation and discover infections. Arthroscopy also provides a lot of information in situations and conditions where the diagnosis is difficult, in cases where withdrawing fluid with a needle and analyzing is difficult.
What are the advantages of Arthroscopic Surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery has been very popular as it is used to treat athletes and also is an extremely valuable treatment for all orthopedic patients. It also has the advantage of being generally easier on the patient than open surgery. Another important advantage of the surgery is that patients can have surgery as outpatients and can return home several hours after the surgery.Along with shorter recovery arthroscopic surgery has many other advantages compared to traditional surgery.
- Lower risk of complications
- Less tissue damage
- Less post-operative pain
- Faster recovery
- Less scarring
Arthroscopy is minimally invasive surgery that helps to treat the conditions like:
- Scarring within joints
- Loose bone fragments
- Torn ligaments
- Damaged or torn cartilage
- Inflamed joint linings