Everyone knows that surgeons use a lot of unfamiliar or new terms to most of us who have not attended medical school. Arthroscopic surgery also called arthroscopy, is one of those terms. Arthroscopic is surgery that is considered a minimally invasive procedure. This surgery is to help examine and even treat damage to the interior of a joint, with medical advances they can now do several simple joint repairs without requiring long term hospital stays or large incisions.
Performing arthroscopic surgery is begun by placing an endoscope into the joint through a small incision. An endoscope often consists of a flexible tubing, light source, means of transmitting images or viewing the area, a channel to allow in medical instruments or manipulators through the same incision. This common orthopedic surgery is used for diagnosis and to treat problems that you may have in your joints. As time passed, orthopedic surgeons have become able to treat and do arthroscopic surgery on more joints as smaller cameras and better manipulating tools have been created. The common arthroscopic surgeries can include:
- Knee surgery
- Shoulder surgery
- Hip surgery
- Ankle surgery
- Elbow surgery
- Wrist surgery
Two of the most common arthroscopy areas are the knees and shoulders. These are the two joints that arthroscopy is normally performed on. The knee and shoulder joints are large enough to manipulate the medical instruments movements more easily than smaller joints allow. These instruments are an important part of the procedure. While the orthopedic surgeon uses the instruments, that are a combination of a camera, to see inside and around the joint, as well as other instruments to be able to help repair the joint. These type of instruments help the patient also. As this is non-invasive, meaning you will not have a large incision in the area of the joints. This smaller incision often means a lower risk of complications as less sedative is commonly used, less hospital time, and less area for infection. Because of these numerous benefits arthroscopy is continuing to rise in popularity.
There are many minor repairs that can be done this way and it also allows for a more thurough diagnosis before more intense surgery is considered. One thing the orthopedic surgeon can do is use fluid pumped into the joint to clear unwanted fragments from the joint. Or it could include repairing cartilage or a tear in the rotator cuff. Some other arthroscopic procedures that are common include:
- Trimming a torn meniscus of the knee
- Repairing a torn meniscus of the knee
- Treatment of shoulder bursitis
- Repair the rotator cuff in the shoulder
- Cartilage damage
- Labral tears treated
Some joint conditions are unable to be repaired by having arthroscopic procedures but arthroscopic diagnosis can be an invaluable tool for avoiding invasive surgery. It is important to understand all your options and make sure your surgeon is accustomed these procedures before proceeding and do not hesitate to seek a second opinion.