Knee arthroscopy is a procedure in which a small camera is used to examine the bone, cartilage, and ligaments within the knee. During the surgery, small incisions are created through which the camera and specially developed surgical equipment are placed.
Why do providers use knee arthroscopy?
Your healthcare provider uses knee arthroscopy to:
- Your healthcare practitioner examines any sore or swollen areas during knee arthroscopy. Images of injured soft tissues and bones are shown by the camera. The photos assist your doctor in diagnosing injuries (or confirming a diagnosis) and planning therapy.
- Restore damaged soft tissues and bones: Your healthcare professional will use specially developed equipment if you need surgery to repair tendons, ligaments, or cartilage. The camera displays real-time visuals that your healthcare professional may use to guide the process. Your healthcare practitioner repairs and reconstructs soft tissues by sewing them together using microscopic instruments. They may suture (sew) bones together as well.
- Get rid of any damaged or inflammatory tissue: Some microscopic instruments assist your healthcare practitioner in removing damaged bone and cartilage, as well as irritated tissue (such as the synovium). These tissues are removed from your knee using instruments.
How is it carried out?
It is performed when the patient is sedated or under general anesthetic. As with any other procedure, the knee is cleansed and draped. Just below and outside the knee cap, an incision is made. An arthroscope (a kind of telescope with a 4 mm diameter) is inserted via this, and a tiny video camera is connected to it. A TV monitor shows the inside of the joint. The arthroscope may be moved to various regions of the joint to examine all of the components inside it. The second incision is made on the inside side and below the knee cap, allowing various equipment such as probes, cutters, and so on to be inserted.
In what instances is arthroscopy beneficial?
- Today, most arthroscopies are conducted for curative purposes once a clinical or MRI diagnosis has been obtained. In certain circumstances, when a clear diagnosis has not been reached, arthroscopy offers a very effective means of achieving a conclusion. The following are some of the most common operations that may be done arthroscopically:
- Removal of a loose body
- Excision of a portion or the whole meniscus
- Regeneration of degenerative cartilage (Chondroplasty)
- Correction of a pain-causing mal-tracking knee cap.
- A knee biopsy is performed to rule out an infection or tumor.
- Excision of the enlarged knee lining (Synovectomy)
- Relaxation of a stiff knee (Arthrolysis)
- Ligament repair (ACL/PCL reconstruction)
- In severe situations, the knee may fuse (Arthrodesis)
- We have found arthroscopy to be a very beneficial technique in determining the exact level of knee injury prior to a major procedure. It may assist determine if a joint can be salvaged or has to be replaced. If it must be replaced, determine if it will be a partial or whole replacement.
How long does it take to recover?
Because arthroscopic surgery is less invasive and uses extremely tiny incisions, the patient may walk the same day or the next, first with assistance and then independently.
What problems are possible?
- Arthroscopy is a relatively safe procedure. A collection of blood in the knee may develop in uncommon circumstances (haemarthrosis). In most situations, it is moderate and absorbed on its own, but in other circumstances, blood removal with a needle may be necessary. This is done as an outpatient surgery under local anesthesia.
- The only other, albeit infrequent, hazard is infection, which may develop after even the simplest of procedures but is far less prevalent with arthroscopy. We believe that prevention is the best strategy, and we take all necessary steps. If this occurs, a lengthy course of antibiotics, as well as an arthroscopic cleaning, may be necessary.
- In certain circumstances, stiffness may develop after arthroscopy. This issue may be avoided by taking care of the knee throughout the post-operative time.
What are the advantages of arthroscopic surgery?
- Minimal cutting technique
- Day-care surgery
- Quick recovery
- No plaster or bandaging
- Better visibility even compared to open surgery
What are the disadvantages of arthroscopy?
It is a highly challenging technique that needs extensive skill and advanced equipment.
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