Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope with combined camera is inserted into a joint. Arthroscopy term had been derived from two Greek words, arthro-, meaning joint; and -skopein, meaning to examine.

The benefits of arthroscopy include smaller incision, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and with less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient may return home on the same day.

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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 an MRI or CT scan may also be needed. Through the arthroscope, a final diagnosis is made which may be more accurate than through an "open" surgery or from X-ray studies.

Which are the joints that can be viewed with an Arthroscope?

All joints present on the inner side can be easily viewed with an arthroscope. The most frequently examined joints with this instrument; include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. With advancement technology and continuous affords of orthopaedic surgeons, other joints may possibly be treated more frequently in the future.

What are the conditions that can be treated by Arthroscopy?

Some problems associated with arthritis and several disorders can be treated with combination of arthroscopy and standard surgery.

Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some of the most frequent conditions found during arthroscopic examinations of joints are:

  • Synovitis – Inflamed lining (synovium) in knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
  • Injury – Acute and chronic.
  • Shoulder - Rotator cuff tendon tear, impingement syndrome, and recurrent dislocations.
  • Knee – Meniscal (cartilage) tear, chondromalacia (wearing or injury of cartilage cushion), and anterior cruciate ligament tear with instability.
  • Wrist – Carpal tunnel syndrome.
  • Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage - Knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist.

What is the rotator cuff?

The rotator cuff is a band of muscles that surround the joint formed by the upper arm bone or humerus and connect to the shoulder blade or scapula. The rotator cuff is stiff enough to hold the joint together, but is also flexible enough to allow the arm to reach and lift.

Rotator cuff injuries are common among baseball pitchers, tennis players, and other athletes who frequently exert an overhead throwing or swinging motion. Non-athletes who are engaged in frequent lifting or reaching activities, such as stacking cans on a high shelf, may also develop rotator cuff problems.

What are the causes for shoulder problems?

Most shoulder problems are the result of overuse or traumatic injury. Athletes who participate in contact sports, such as hockey or football, often suffer shoulder injuries. Frequent lifting and repetitive arm rotation can also cause wear and tear of the shoulder. Inflammatory diseases such as arthritis and bursitis may develop with time.

What are the types and causes of arthritis in the knee?

  • Osteoarthritis or Degenerative Joint Disease – The most common type of Arthritis. Osteoarthritis is also known as “wear and tear arthritis”, since the cartilage simply wears out. As cartilage wears away, bone rubs on bone causing severe pain and disability. The most common reason for osteoarthritis is genetic, since the durability of each individual’s cartilage is based on genetics.
  • Trauma – Can also lead to osteoarthritis. A bad fall or blow to the knee can injure the joint. If the injury does not heal properly that may exert, extra force may be placed on the joint, which over time can cause the cartilage to wear away.
  • Inflammatory Arthritis - Swelling (inflammation) and heating of the joint’s lining causes the release of enzymes which soften and eventually destroy the cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and psoriatic arthritis are inflammatory in nature.