Arthroscopy is also known as the arthroscopic surgery, where a damaged joint of the body is treated or diagnosed with a small invasive surgical procedure. In most of the cases arthroscopy is done on the joints of wrist, elbow, shoulder, hip, knee, ankle and foot.

What is Arthroscopy?

A small incision is made near the joint, there a tube-like viewing instrument is inserted, a type of endoscope, and is known as the arthroscope. The small tube or the arthroscope is about 5 millimtres in daimetre generally. It also comes in small sizes as 0.5 millimetre for the examination of the wrist joints. The arthroscope has multiple optical fibers and lenses with which the joint is examined after insertion into the skin. A video camera is attached to the arthroscope and the image of the joint and its interior can be seen on a television screen. When a surgery is performed on the joint with the help of arthroscope it is called arthroscopic surgery.

Arthroscopy is performed on whom?

Both inflammatory and non-inflammatory along with various types of arthritis can be treated or diagnose with arthroscopy. Even other joint injuries can be diagnosed and arthroscopy surgery can be performed.

Osteoarthritis is the non-inflammatory degenerative arthritis and can be examined and treated by arthroscopy. The frayed and irregular cartiledge can be seen, now days using the arthroscopy surgery the crevasses in the cartiledge can be repaired. Cartliedge cells are taken from the patient and harvested in the laboratory, where it grows and later on using the arthroscopy surgery it is pasted on the frayed cartiledge.

Rheumatoid arthritis is inflammatory arthritis, where patients can suffer from prolong and painful isolated swelling of the joints. Arthroscopic surgery can help these patients by removing the inflamed tissue joints known as (synovectomy). The tissue can then be examined to see if there is any other kind of infections.

Apart from arthritis any other joint, cartiledge or ligament tears, strains or deterioration can be examined and treated. Also loose tissues, foreign objects or chips of cartiledges or bones that might have got lodged within the joint can be removed with this method.

Preparation for Arthroscopy

The arthroscopy procedure is pretty easy and less painful than a surgery, but a patient’s condition is considered before conducting it. The important physical and medical conditions that are checked of a patient are blood pressure, the ability to withstand the anesthetic used, and existing heart or lung problems and whether they are adequate to function properly and the hemoglobin count. Patients suffering from diabetes, heart or blood pressure problems are given medication prior to the arthroscopy.

Why Arthroscopy

Many opt for arthroscopy over traditional surgery as there is less blood loss and less painful. Only two small incisions are made instead of opening the joint fully in arthroscopic surgery, one incision for the arthroscope and the other for the surgical instrument.  It reduces recovery time and due to less tearing of the connecting tissues the surgical success is likely to be more.

Taking care after Arthroscopy

There is likely to be swelling for seven to fifteen days where arthroscopy has been conducted. Numbness can follow with a bit of pain in the region when the effect of the anesthesia wears off. The patient is asked to take rest and elevate the joint where the procedure has taken place as well as apply ice pack. Exercise regime is set for the patient after some days; it will strengthen the muscle around the joint and prevent the surrounding issues from being scarred. In case of any problems the surgeon or the doctor must be consulted after arthroscopy.