Arthroscopy is a surgical operation where a joint is observed via a small camera. Arthroscopy is accomplished through small incisions. Throughout the procedure, the orthopedic surgeon inserts a camera into the joint of the knee called an arthroscope. The arthroscope’s image is the displayed on a television. The surgeon can then view the structures of the knee in great detail. The surgeon employs arthroscopy to repair or remove damaged tissue by maneuvering small surgical instruments inserted through incisions made in the knee. The surgery is typically used for:
A physical exam will typically be performed prior to the operation. This will evaluate the health of the person and uncover any concerns which could hinder surgery. The surgeon will have to be told about any medications or supplements which are currently being taken. Certain medications must be avoided before surgery. Additionally, preoperative tests can be ordered such as a blood test or an electrocardiogram, of EKG.
Initially, the surgeon will make a few small incisions in the knee and a sterile solution will fill the knee joint to rinse out cloudy fluid. This helps the surgeon to observe the knee clearly and in detail. The surgeon can properly diagnose the issue by studying the joint. An arthroscope will be inserted and the picture projected on a TV to direct his actions. The doctor will then insert small instruments through small incisions and perform the repairs or removals. These instruments can include scissors, motorized shavers, or lasers. This usually lasts roughly 30 minutes to an hour. It can take more time depending on the damage. Once the repairs or removal is accomplished, the surgeon will suture the incisions with either a stitch or a sterile strip. Then these will be protected with a bandage.