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Arthroscopy

WHAT IS ARTHROSCOPY?

Arthroscopy is a procedure used to diagnose and treat damage to the interior parts of a joint. It is performed using an arthroscope, a type of camera that is inserted into the joint through a small incision that enables the surgeon a view of the joint area on a video monitor. A second incision is made for the insertion of small surgical instruments that are used both to diagnose and to perform what is needed during the operation—removing damaged tissue, suturing and other repairs. 

WHY ARTHROSCOPY IS DONE?

Arthroscopy is done to diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions, most commonly those affecting the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, wrist etc. Arthroscopy can be used to treat a range of problems, including osteoarthritis, tears, joint injuries, and inflammatory or non-inflammatory conditions.

Arthroscopic surgery is much easier in terms of recovery compared to "open" surgery. With development of better instrumentation and surgical techniques, many conditions can be treated arthroscopically. For instance, most meniscal tears in the knee can be treated successfully with arthroscopic surgery.

HOW IS KNEE ARTHROSCOPY PERFORMED?

Arthroplasty can be performed under General (GA) or local anesthesia (LA).

The surgeon will start by making a small a few incisions in your knee. Saline, will then be pumped in to expand the knee making it easier for the surgeon to see inside the joint. The arthroscope enters one of the cuts and the surgeon will look around in your joint using the attached camera. The surgeon can see the images produced by the camera on the monitor in the operation theatre.

When the surgeon locates the problem in your knee, they may then insert small tools into the incisions to correct the issue. After the surgery, the surgeon drains the saline from your joint and closes your cuts with stitches.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH A KNEE ARTHROSCOPY?

There are risks associated with any type of surgery like excessive bleeding during the procedure, Infection at the site of the surgery, breathing difficulties caused by anesthesia, allergic reaction to anesthesia or other medications administered during surgery

Risks associated with knee arthroscopy, are:

  1. bleeding inside the knee joint

  2. formation of a blood clot in the leg

  3. infection inside the joint

  4. stiffness in the knee

  5. injury or damage to the cartilage, ligaments, meniscus, blood vessels, or nerves of the knee

AFTER THE SURGERY

  • Arthroscopy isn’t very invasive, in most cases the procedure takes less than an hour depending on the specific procedure. Patient can be discharged the same day. 

  • It is advised to keep the leg elevated and put ice on it for a day or two to reduce swelling and pain. Regular change of dressing is needed according to the advice of the doctor. 

  • Suggested exercise regimen to follow at home to help recovery, The exercises are necessary to help restore your full range of motion and to strengthen the muscles. 

  • Follow-up visit to the surgeon a few days after the procedure is advised.

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