What is it?
Arthroscopy or Arthroscopic surgery is a surgical procedure that is performed to examine a body joint, diagnose the problems causing discomfort and then treating these problems.
The orthopedic doctor usually diagnoses any joint injury or disease through evaluating the medical history, physical examination and X-ray and in some cases, MRI and CT scan might also be needed. However, arthroscopy has proved to be a more effective diagnosis tool at giving a final diagnosis than X-rays and even open surgery at times.
When is it needed?
The doctor might recommend Arthroscopy for the following cases:
The doctor will administer the following anesthesia, depending on the type of injury or disease and the joint:
The surgeon will create small incisions, usually the size of a buttonhole, near the affected area. The surgeon will then insert an arthroscope, a thin flexible tube with a light source and camera at one end along with thin, specialized surgical instruments through the other tiny incisions.
The surgeon can view the affected joint through a monitor connected to the arthroscope and the joint might be filled with a sterile fluid to widen the view. The surgeon will now diagnose the issue and decide upon the type of surgery to be performed to treat this issue.
Once decided on the surgery, the doctor will use the thin, specialized instrument to perform the surgical procedure to repair or treat the issue. In case of a combination surgery, the surgeon might do it at the same time.
Once the surgery is performed, the arthroscope and the instruments will be removed and the incisions will be closed using special tape or stitches.
The recovery period for arthroscopic surgery is way lesser and less painful than conventional surgical procedures. However, the patient might experience some pain in the joint after the surgery for which the doctor might prescribe pain medication. Other medications like aspirin might also be prescribed to prevent blood clots.
The patient might be asked to come for follow-up appointments after a couple of weeks for evaluation of the joint and also to remove non-dissolvable stitches.
The patient will be advised about the following measures:
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