Arthroscopic surgery is a common orthopedic procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems in joints. It allows your doctor to look at the joint surfaces and the surrounding soft tissues, such as tissue that connects bone to bone (ligaments) and the tough tissue that covers the ends of the bones at the joints (cartilage) and provides a cushion between the bones. This procedure can be used to diagnose a joint problem, perform surgery to repair a joint problem, remove a loose or foreign body, or monitor a disease or the effectiveness of a treatment. Arthroscopy is commonly performed on the knee, shoulder, and ankle. It also can be done on the hip, elbow, and wrist.
Performing Arthroscopic Surgery
When an 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 fiber optic light source and shows a picture of the inside of the joint on a television monitor. The surgeon uses fluid pumped through the joint to aid in visibility and clear debris from the joint. One or more other incisions are made to insert instruments that can treat a variety of conditions.
Benefits of Arthroscopy
– Less painful
– Less costly
– Quicker recovery time
– Can be done on an outpatient basis