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Arthroscopy

Introduction


Joint problems can be caused by a number of conditions or injuries. Arthroscopy is one of the evolving surgical procedures in the field of Joint Pathology. Orthopaedic surgeons from the team of highly competent doctors and surgeons at the Metro hospital, India are equipped with the latest sophisticated equipments to perform this surgical procedure for proper visualization, diagnosis, and treatment of problems inside a joint.

Arthroscopy hyped up in the 1960s and is now commonplace all over the globe. Arthroscopic surgery holds great benefits over traditional open surgery. During arthroscopy, the joint does not have to be opened up completely. Instead, only two or three small incisions are made to make way for the surgical instruments. This shrinks recovery time and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less distress to the connective tissue.

Arthroscopy is mostly an outpatient procedure wherein, patients can generally return home on the same day the procedure is accomplished. It employs general, spinal, or local anesthetics.

Causes and Diagnosis


Diseases and injuries can cause serious damage to bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, and muscles. Diagnosis of joint injuries and diseases commences with a thorough physical examination, medical history, and usually X-raying of patients. For further examination, computed tomography (CT) scan, ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) can be done. Finally, an arthroscope, a tube-like illuminated device, is brought into use to get more accurate results than an open surgery or X-ray studies

Procedure


The technique of arthroscopy involves the insertion of the arthroscope, a small tube-like instrument equipped with optical fibers and lenses, through small slits in the skin into the joint to be scanned. The other end of the arthroscope is connected to a video camera so that the interior of the joint can be visualized on a television monitor. This enables the surgeon to determine the type or extent of injury and then repair or improve the problem, if it is necessary. The size of the arthroscope is in accordance with the size of the joint to be examined. For example, an arthroscope with a diameter of approximately 5 millimeters is used for the examination of the knee joint. There are arthroscopes as tiny as 0.5 millimeters in diameter which are useful in examining small joints such as the wrist.

Arthroscopy usually takes between 30 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the course of action.

Recovery


Following the surgery, the small incisions will be covered with a dressing. After that, the patient is taken to a separate room for recovery lasting for a few hours before being discharged.

There is proper counseling of the patient wherein he’s given instructions about care for the incisions, what activities have to be avoided, and which exercises should be done to aid recovery. The amount of surgery required and recovery time depends on the complexity of the problem.

In general, the patient is able to resume desk work and light activities in a week, and more laborious activities in about four weeks. However, some situations might stipulate a longer recovery period and rehabilitation.