Arthroscopy — Working Inside a Joint
- Posted on: Mar 15 2018
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to treat joint problems from within the joint. The word arthroscopy derives from two Greek words, “arthro” (joint) and “skopein” (to look). When translated, the meaning of the term is “to look within the joint.” At Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, we perform arthroscopy on knees, shoulders, and hips.
Because it doesn’t involve the same issues encountered with invasive surgery, such as the need to move or cut muscle or other tissue, recovery after arthroscopic surgery with the Urgent Orthopedic Specialists team is usually easier and faster than after open surgery.
What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy allows our surgeons to look inside your joints using an arthroscope. Arthroscopy allows us to see the joint surfaces and the cartilage that covers and cushions the ends of the bones. We can also see the surrounding soft tissues, such as the ligaments that connect the bones.
How is it done?
During arthroscopy, we make a small incision in the skin. Then the arthroscope, a pencil-sized instrument with a small lens and lighting system that can magnify and illuminate the inside of the joint, is inserted. It details images that can be seen on an adjacent video screen. Our surgeons can see the cartilage, ligaments, and under the kneecap (when dealing with the knee); this allows us to determine the amount or type of injury and then repair or correct the problem, if necessary. We will make other small accessory incisions to insert specially designed instruments to cut cartilage, smooth bone spurs, and perform other necessary repairs.
Why do we perform arthroscopy?
Often a physical exam doesn’t give us a clear diagnosis of the patient’s problem with his or her joint. Plus, other tests such as x-rays, blood tests, CT scans, and MRIs may not give us enough detail of the problem area.
But once inside the joint, we can see the problem, and we can repair it arthroscopically. We can perform these surgical tasks arthroscopically:
- Shave bone tissue to remove calcium deposits or bone spurs.
- Repair or soft, trim tissues, such as ligaments, tendons, or cartilage.
- Cut or repair ligaments to help relive tightness in a stiff joint.
- Collect tissue or joint fluid sample for testing (biopsy).
- Remove scar tissue or an area of joint lining that is swollen.
Arthroscopic surgery is less painful, costs less, makes for easier recovery, and can usually be done on an outpatient basis.
Having problems with your joints? Call the experts at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, (432) 520-3020, to make an appointment.
Posted in: Joint Pain & Replacement