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Dr. Andrew Rynne
MD
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Bone, Muscle and Joint Disorders Arthroscopic Joint Procedure

Arthroscopic Joint Procedure

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Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to visualize, diagnose, and treat problems inside a joint. An arthroscope is a telescope that can be inserted into the joints, enabling to see directly inside the area. Two small stab wounds are made on either side of the front of the knee. One is for the telescope, the other is either for an examining probe, or the instrument used to perform arthroscopic surgery.

 

Arthroscopy can be performed under local or general anesthesia. The small puncture wounds take several days to heal. The operative dressing is generally removed in the morning after surgery and adhesive strips are applied to cover the small healing incisions. Although the puncture wounds are small and pain in the joint that underwent arthroscopy is minimal, it takes several weeks for the joint to recover. A specific activity and rehabilitation program may be suggested to speed up your recovery and protect future joint function. Patients can go back to work or school or resume daily activities within a few days. Athletes and others who are in good physical condition may in some cases return to athletic activities within a few weeks. Remember, though, that people who have arthroscopy can have many different diagnoses and preexisting conditions, so each patient's arthroscopic surgery is unique to that person. Recovery time will reflect that individuality. In a patient under 60 years of age with no other medical problems, it is usually a day-case procedure. In most cases, no splints or crutches are required and driving and work can be resumed a few days later.

Indications

  • Arthroscopy is often used for treatment of knee, ankle and shoulder joint injuries.
  • To find out the reasons for swelling, pain, unstable joints or why the patient is having problems with the movement.
  • The test may show evidence of cartilage or ligament damage, loose bodies or signs of arthritis.
  • Arthroscopy can also be used for surgery such as trimming or repair of a cartilage or removing loose bodies.

Complications

  • Infection
  • Excessive swelling or bleeding
  • Damage to blood vessels or nerves
  • Instrument breakage is the most common complications, but occurs in far less than 1 percent of all arthroscopic procedures.

Advantages

  • It is more comfortable and feasible to get arthroscopy done compared to open surgery
  • It is a day care procedure and generally the patients may go to home on the same day.