Arthroscopy is a surgical technique where the surgeon makes a small incision into your knee and inserts a tiny camera called arthroscope. While the inserted camera allows the inside view on a screen, the surgeon could rectify the kind of knee problem. Considering the nature of the problem, small instruments could be inserted and correct the knee problem.
Any type of disease is first diagnosed with patient’s history of medical condition and physical examination. X-rays, MRI scan and CT scan are also mostly needed. However, a final diagnosis is made only by arthroscope during the procedure of arthroscopy. A minimally invasive orthopaedic surgery, arthroscopy results in less swelling than open techniques. The risk of complications, pain and recovery time gets reduced in this type of technique. Mostly importantly the athletes for whom certain injuries meant an end to their career at some point can now be addressed to arthroscopy and get back to their normal activities.
Arthroscopy helps in both the diagnosis of a problem and its treatment. Apart from general diagnostic purposes, it is best recommended for treating the following knee problems:
- Fracture in the knee bones
- Washout of infected knees
- Knee cap disorders
- Removal of loose bodies within the knee such as broken cartilage or bone
- Reconstructing anterior cruciate ligament or posterior cruciate ligament
- Removal of cysts
- Torn meniscus
The preparation for arthroscopy includes refraining from the use of certain medicines for days before the surgery. Doctor shall acknowledge you with the names of the medicines. Another important measure to keep in mind is to stop eating or drinking for six to twelve hours prior to the surgery.
During the procedure, doctor usually gives you an anesthetic before he starts the procedure. The type of anesthetic given varies from patient to patient. The procedure starts with small incision in your knee. The knee would be then pumped and expanded with the help of saline water or sterile salt water. Expanding helps in clear visualisation of inner areas of the joint. The camera arthroscope shall be attached and the images produced by the camera are analysed in the monitor that is kept in the operating room. Once the problem is rectified, the doctor may insert tiny tools to correct the problem. After completing the procedure, the saline water is drained from the joint and cuts are stitched and covered.
The surgery is mostly done in less than an hour. The patient could go home on the same day. Using ice pack on the surgery performed knee will help in reducing the swelling and pain. Dressing would also be recommended by the doctor. After few days of the surgery, the patient needs to visit the doctor again for a follow-up appointment. Few exercise regimes will be instructed to you in order to regain the strength in the muscles. At times, you may be recommended a physical therapist until your knee is able to function properly.
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