Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally-invasive type of surgery that uses a thin, flexible instrument called an arthroscope to see inside joints using small incisions and a tiny camera. Special surgical instruments designed to work through smaller incisions are also used. Arthroscopy is widely used for many types of joint surgeries, offering benefits like faster recovery time, less postoperative pain and a lower risk of complications compared to traditional surgery.
Many different types of knee surgery can be performed using an arthroscope, including:
repair of other ligaments
surgery to muscles and other soft tissues that comprise the joint
procedures to treat swelling of the interior lining of the joint (synovitis) and arthritis
kneecap repair and realignment
While many surgeries can be performed successfully using an arthroscopic technique, not every patient or injury is an ideal candidate for the approach. A careful and comprehensive exam as well as a review of your medical history and overall health will be able to determine if arthroscopic surgery is the right choice for your needs.
Several incisions will be made around the knee to allow the arthroscope and instruments to have access to the joint. Once the arthroscope is inserted into the joint space, a saline solution may be injected to expand the space so it can be viewed more clearly. Surgery is performed using special instruments inserted through other small incisions near the joint. Once the surgery is complete, the incisions can be closed with just a few sutures. Knee arthroscopy may also be performed to evaluate a joint, especially after CT scans, x-rays or other imaging techniques revealing a potential issue with the joint or its components.
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