Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows doctors to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. It involves the use of a specialized instrument called an arthroscope, which is a thin, flexible tube equipped with a light source and a high-definition camera.
During an arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon makes small incisions in the skin near the joint and inserts the arthroscope. The camera sends real-time images of the joint's interior to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to examine the structures, such as the cartilage, ligaments, tendons, and synovium.
Here is a general overview of the arthroscopy procedure:
Arthroscopy offers several advantages over traditional open surgery, including smaller incisions, reduced trauma to surrounding tissues, less pain, faster recovery, and lower risk of complications. Patients often experience shorter hospital stays and can resume their normal activities sooner compared to open surgery.
Arthroscopy is commonly performed on joints such as the knee, shoulder, hip, ankle, wrist, and elbow. It is used for both diagnostic purposes and therapeutic interventions, allowing surgeons to treat a wide range of joint conditions, including ligament tears, cartilage damage, joint inflammation (e.g., arthritis), and certain sports-related injuries.
It's important to note that not all joint conditions can be treated with arthroscopy, and the appropriateness of the procedure depends on various factors. A consultation with an orthopedic surgeon is necessary to determine if arthroscopy is the right option for a particular joint problem.