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An arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery used both to diagnose and treat problems with joints.The procedure is most commonly used on the knees, ankles, shoulders, elbows and wrist.
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure orthopaedic surgeons use to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint.
The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, "arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look). The term literally means "to look within the joint."
In an arthroscopic examination, an orthopaedic surgeon makes a small incision in the patient’s skin and then inserts pencil-sized instruments that contain a small lens and lighting system to magnify and illuminate the structures inside the joint. Light is transmitted through fiber optics to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted into the joint. By attaching the arthroscope to a miniature television camera, the surgeon is able to see the interior of the joint through this very small incision rather than a large incision needed for surgery.
The television camera attached to the arthroscope displays the image of the joint on a television screen, allowing the surgeon to look, for example, throughout the knee. This lets the surgeon see the cartilage, ligaments, and under the kneecap. The surgeon can determine the amount or type of injury and then repair or correct the problem, if it is necessary.
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A joint is the point where two or more bones meet.They allow the bones to move, while holding them in place, protecting and supporting them.
Joints are made up of five different types of tissue:
Why is arthroscopy necessary?
Diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history, physical examination, and usually X-rays. Additional tests such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) also scan may be needed.
Through the arthroscope, a final diagnosis is made, which may be more accurate than through "open" surgery or from X-ray studies.
Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some of the most frequent conditions found during arthroscopic examinations of joints are:
Inflammation - For example, synovitis is an inflammation of the lining in the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
Acute or Chronic Injury -
Some problems associated with arthritis also can be treated. Several procedures may combine arthroscopic and standard surgery.
Although the inside of nearly all joints can be viewed with an arthroscope, six joints are most frequently examined with this instrument. These include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. As advances are made in fiberoptic technology and new techniques are developed by orthopaedic surgeons, other joints may be treated more frequently in the future.
Common Types of Arthroscopic Surgery
Knee - The doctor looks inside the patient’s knee to find out what exactly is causing the problem and what the problem actually is. Whether there is a tear of one of the cartilages or whether one of the ligaments within the knee joint is torn. Another reason may be a loose piece of bone in the knee joint or there might arthritis in part of the knee. After diagnosis, the surgery is done
Shoulder – The doctor looks inside the patient’s shoulder to diagnose the exact problem and its cause. There can be a number of problems for which surgery can be required such as in some people, the shoulder might be coming out of the joint. In others, the condition of the tendons above the shoulder joint has to be seen.
Wrist – In wrist arthroscopy, the surgeon diagnoses and treats various problems related to the patient’s wrist with the help of a number of extremely small incisions. According to statistics, during the last 5 years, wrist has become the third most common joint to undergo arthroscopy, after knee and shoulder. Since the incisions are smaller, the pain, swelling and stiffness are also reduced with quicker recovery.
Elbow - In elbow arthroscopy, the surgeon inserts arthroscope (with an attached camera), into the patient’s elbow joint. The camera shows the pictures on the TV monitor and the surgeon uses these pictures for guiding his surgical instruments. He makes small cuts in the elbow makes the pain and swelling less but recover faster.
Hip – In hip arthroscopy, the surgeon performs his task by making small incisions that are around 1 cm each, using a camera so that he can look inside the hip joint. This process is much less invasive than the other traditional procedures.
Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery
Arthroscopy helps the doctor to see what is wrong with the joint. It has the following benefits:
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