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What is Arthroscopic Surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope and other surgical instruments are inserted through tiny incisions in the skin to examine and treat the interior formation of a joint for various problems.
The arthroscope is an endoscopic device with a camera attached to it, which enables the orthopedic surgeon to view the internal structures. The arthroscope is of various sizes and a joint is examined with an arthroscope that is suited to its size.
The different types of arthroscopic surgeries are:
How is Arthroscopic Surgery Performed?
- Knee Arthroscopy
- Shoulder Arthroscopy
- Hip Arthroscopy
- Ankle Arthroscopy
- Elbow Arthroscopy
- Wrist Arthroscopy
- Spinal Arthroscopy
How to Prepare for Arthroscopic Surgery?
- A small incision is made on the side of the joint that needs to be treated through which the arthroscope is inserted.
- Other tiny incisions are made through which surgical instruments are inserted.
- These instruments are used to cut, remove and stitch injured tissues.
- After the surgery is completed, the arthroscope is withdrawn and the incision is closed with sutures.
- A dressing is used to cover the incision area and a brace may be used to wrap around the joint.
- The patient is physically examined before the surgery.
- The patient is required to do some blood and urine tests.
- The doctor should be informed about any medication that the patient may be taking.
- Certain medication that the patient has been taking may be stopped two weeks before the surgery.
- The doctor should be informed about any medical conditions or ailments of the patient.
- The doctor should be informed if the patient has been drinking more than one or two drinks of alcohol in a day.
- The patient should stop smoking some weeks prior to the surgery to recover quickly.
Arthroscopic surgery is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
The type of anesthesia is chosen depending on the joint that is being treated and the health of the patient.
- The patient is taken to a recovery room until the patient comes out of the effects of anesthesia.
- Pain medication may be given to the patient.
- The surgical incisions are small and heal quickly.
- The patient is required to rest for several days after the surgery and keep the joint elevated.
- Ice packs may be applied to minimize swelling and pain.
- The patient is required to undergo an exercise program that helps in strengthening the patient’s muscles. This also prevents contracture of the surrounding tissues.
The risks that may occur in arthroscopic surgery are rare. They include the following:
- Severe bleeding
- Blood clotting
- Injury to nerve and blood vessels
- Breakage of surgical instruments during the surgery
- The incision area should be kept clean and dry.
- The surgeon or nurse will remove the surgical bandages.
- The doctor’s instructions should be followed carefully.
- The patient may be required to undergo physical therapy.
Any signs of infection should be reported to the doctor. These include:
- Severe joint pain
Learn more about Arthroscopic Surgery