Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure which uses a thin telescope with a light source (an arthroscope) to look inside joints. As well as being able to look inside, the surgeon can use an arthroscope to perform ‘keyhole’ surgery. Arthroscopy is most often used to investigate or treat knee problems. Arthroscopy can also be used for other joints, including the shoulder, hip, elbow, wrist and ankle joints, and even for hand or foot problems.
A joint is where two bones meet. Joints allow movement and flexibility of various parts of the body. The movement of the bones is caused by muscles which pull on tendons that are attached to bone.
Cartilage covers the end of bones. Between the cartilages of two bones which form a joint there is a small amount of thick fluid called synovial fluid. This fluid ‘lubricates’ the joint which allows smooth movement between the bones.
The synovial fluid is made by the tissue surrounding a joint (the synovium). The outer part of the synovium is called the capsule. This is tough, gives the joint stability, and stops the bones from moving ‘out of joint’. Surrounding ligaments and muscles also help to give support and stability to joints.
In the knee joint, the cartilage covering the lower part of the joint is thickened in the inner and outer part of the joint. These two areas of cartilage are sometimes called menisci. The menisci act like shock absorbers in the knee and are sometimes torn following a knee injury. Also, there are two strong cross-shaped (cruciate) ligaments in the middle of the knee joints, which are attached to the ends of the calf bone (tibia) and the thigh bone (femur). These also can be torn following a knee injury.
What is an arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a procedure to look inside a joint by using an arthroscope. An arthroscope is like a thin telescope with a light source. It is used to light up and magnify the structures inside a joint. An arthroscope is passed through a small cut (incision) in the skin and into a joint.
Arthroscopy may be done to investigate symptoms such as pain, swelling, or instability of a joint. An arthroscopy may show damage to cartilage or ligaments within a joint, fragments of bone or cartilage which have broken off (‘loose bodies’), or signs of arthritis.
What is arthroscopic surgery?
In addition to simply looking inside, a doctor can use fine instruments which are also passed into the joint through a small incision in the skin (keyhole surgery). These instruments are used to cut, trim, take a sample to be studied under a microscope (biopsy), grab, etc, inside the joint. Arthroscopic surgery can be used for various procedures which include:
Taking out small bits of bone or cartilage that have broken off into the joint space.
Repairing or taking out torn ligaments.
Removing damaged cartilage.
Removing tissue surrounding the joint (synovium), which has become inflamed.
About 17 in 20 arthroscopic procedures are done on the knee joint, about 2 in 20 involve the shoulder, and a small number are done on other joints including the ankle, elbow, wrist and hip.
Arthroscopic surgery can often treat or repair joints without the need for a more traditional open surgery of a joint, which involves a large cut (incision). As a rule, compared with traditional surgery of a joint, with arthroscopic surgery there is usually:
Less pain following the procedure.
Less risk of complications.
A shorter hospital stay.
A quicker recovery.
The main advantage is that the joint being operated on doesn’t need to be fully opened. This reduces the length of time in hospital and causes fewer traumas to connective tissue.
Phyathai Sriracha Hospital Arthroscopy Center provides both knee and shoulder arthroscopic surgery by orthopedic surgeon. For more information please contact international direct line number 089 – 7500293 Email: [email protected] www.phyathai-sriracha.com