There was a time when orthopedic surgeries were carried out using the open method, involving larger incisions and cutting through healthy tissues just to access the joint or soft tissue that needed treatment. Patients who undergo open surgery typically have to deal with a lot of pain, long hospital stays, a lengthy recovery period, and a high risk of complications.
Now, those who are eligible can be treated with arthroscopy for certain orthopedic conditions. Arthroscopy is a procedure that allows surgeons to access different structures through smaller incisions. An arthroscope is a long, thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic video camera. The doctor inserts it through a small incision and the camera allows the doctor to see inside the body. High-definition images are seen in real-time on a video monitor. This eliminates the need for healthy tissue to be damaged in order to diagnose problems. In many cases, doctors can also treat orthopedic problems during an arthroscopy. Many problems with hip, knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, and wrist joints can be treated with arthroscopy.
When Is Arthroscopy Recommended?
There are two purposes for an arthroscopy — diagnosis and treatment. A doctor may use arthroscopy to see joints or soft tissues, evaluate the damage, and perform certain repairs to improve a patient’s symptoms. Sometimes, medical imaging scans leave some questions unanswered. By using a camera to see inside the body, doctors are better able to diagnose and treat orthopedic conditions and injuries.
Examples of Conditions Treated With Arthroscopy
An arthroscopy may be recommended if the patient has scar tissue, inflamed joint lining, bone spurs, or loose bone fragments in or around the joint.
For example, a rotator cuff tear signals the body to create scar tissue to begin the repair process for the torn tendon. The buildup of scar tissue can cause pain and limit the range of motion. Through arthroscopy, the surgeon can release the scar tissue and restore the shoulder’s function.
Patients with rheumatoid arthritis may suffer from an inflamed joint lining, which causes pain and limits joint function. A synovectomy can be performed arthroscopically to remove the inflamed joint lining and relieve symptoms of the patient.
Osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, fractures, and trauma can cause loose fragments of bone or tissue to float around the joint. Loose body removal can be performed arthroscopically.
Arthroscopy can also be used to treat knee meniscus injuries. The knee meniscus is cartilage that can become damaged or tear. Depending on the type and severity of the cartilage injury, the doctor can either trim the meniscus, remove a portion of it, or transplant healthy cartilage into the knee.
Another common injury treated with arthroscopy is ACL tears, which affects knee stability. A long-term treatment solution is a tendon graft (usually taken from a patellar tendon, quadriceps, or hamstring), which doctors can do arthroscopically.
Outpatient Arthroscopy in Naples, FL
If you are interested in arthroscopy and would like to know if it could be used for your condition, contact the orthopedic surgeons at the Joint Replacement Institute. We specialize in arthroscopic procedures for a wide range of orthopedic conditions. To schedule an appointment, call us at (239) 261-2663 or use our appointment request form.