Arthroscopy is a way for a surgeon to look into your joint with a camera. The most common type of arthroscopy is arthroscopic knee surgery. Other common arthroscopic surgeries include shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, and hip arthroscopy.
Find information about shoulder arthroscopy. Arthroscopic shoulder surgery can be done to treat a variety of shoulder problems. Many patients prefer arthroscopic surgery because of smaller incisions and faster recovery than traditional shoulder surgery.
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to look inside a joint. When performing arthroscopic surgery, the surgeon can see inside the joint with a small camera.
Arthroscopic Rotator Cuff Repairs
Rotator cuff repairs were traditionally performed through large incisions over the outside of the shoulder. A newer technique, called an arthroscopic rotator cuff repair, is a procedure that is done with a television camera (an arthroscope) and allows the surgeon to perform the rotator cuff repair through small incisions.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
This persents a guide to arthroscopic knee surgery. Included are pictures of the instruments used to perform an arthroscopic knee surgery and descriptions of what surgery can be performed.
While knee and shoulder arthroscopy are much more ommon, ankle arthroscopy can be performed to treat certain conditions.
Elbow arthroscopy is a minimally invasive technique used by orthopaedic surgeons to diagnose and treat a range of conditions affecting the joint.
What parts of the body can undergo arthroscopic surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery is most commonly performed on the knee and shoulder joints. Less commonly arthroscoped joints include the wrist, elbow, ankle and hip. The reason the knee and shoulder are the most commonly arthroscoped joints is that they are large enough to manipulate the instruments around, and they are amenable to arthroscopic surgery treatments.
Technically speaking, any joint can be arthroscoped. However, the practicality and the instrumentation available limit our ability to arthroscope every joint for all types of problems. The most common arthroscopic procedures include repairing cartilage and meniscus problems in the knee, and removing inflammation and repairing rotator cuff tears in the shoulder.
How is arthroscopic surgery performed?
When a knee arthroscopy is performed, a camera is inserted into the joint through a small incision (about one centimeter). The arthroscopic surgery camera is attached to a fiberoptic light source and shows a picture of the inside of the joint on a television monitor. The surgeon uses water under pressure to "inflate" the knee allowing more maneuverability and to remove any debris. One or more other incisions are made to insert instruments that can treat the underlying problem. For example, a shaver can be inserted to trim the edges of a meniscus tear.
Knee arthroscopic surgery is a procedure performed through small incisions in the skin to repair injuries to tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, or bone within the knee joint area. The surgery is conducted with the aid of an arthroscope, which is a very small instrument guided by a lighted scope attached to a television monitor. Other instruments are inserted through three incisions around the knee. Arthroscopic surgeries range from minor procedures such as flushing or smoothing out bone surfaces or tissue fragments (lavage and debridement) associated with osteoarthritis, to the realignment of a dislocated knee and ligament grafting surgeries. The range of surgeries represents very different procedures, risks, and aftercare requirements.
While the clear advantages of arthrocopic surgery lie in surgery with less anesthetic, less cutting, and less recovery time, this surgery nonetheless requires a very thorough examination of the causes of knee injury or pain prior to a decision for surgery.
Treatment distinctions between arthroscopic surgery for acute injuries and those for pain management are important and should be kept in mind. They have implications for the necessity for surgery, risks of surgery, complications, aftercare, and expectations for improvement. Arthroscopic surgery for acute injuries is less controversial because clear dysfunction and/or severe instability are measurable indications for surgery and easily identifiable. Surgery indications for pain management are largely for chronic damage and for the milder grades or stages of acute injuries (severity Grade I and II). These are controversial due to the existence of pain management and rehabilitation alternatives. Arthroscopic surgery for pain management is currently under debate.
Arthroscopic surgery for acute injuries
The knee bone sits between the femur and the tibia, attached by four ligaments that keep the knee stable as the leg moves. These ligaments can be damaged or torn through injuries and accidents. Once damaged, they do not offer stability to the knee and can cause buckling, or allow the knee to "give way." Ligaments can also "catch" and freeze the knee or make the knee track in a different direction than its leg movement, causing the knee to dislocate. Traumatic injuries such as automobile accidents may cause more than one ligament injury, necessitating multiple repairs to ligaments.