Arthroscopic Surgery

Arthroscopic surgery is used when repairing or diagnosing an injury produced within a joint. The arthroscope is used, which is a tool that consists of a small-sized camera that connects to a monitor so that the surgeon can see the inside of the joint without creating a large incision. It is a minimally invasive technique, which produces less tissue damage and promotes patient recovery.

What is this Surgical Intervention Like?

In this surgery, between two and three incisions (of approximately 2 and 4 centimeters each) are performed around the damaged joint. Common areas include the knees and shoulders. Saline solution is introduced through one of these incisions, which helps see the articular cavity more clearly.

Through one of the other incisions created, the surgeon will introduce a tiny camera to observe the interior, and be able to perform the surgery correctly. The remaining incisions are used to introduce any necessary surgical instruments for the procedure. Once completed, the instruments and saline solution are removed from the interior of the joint, the incisions are sutured, and a bandage is placed on the area.

It is usually performed under regional or general anesthesia, for therapeutic purposes, in order to correct some condition or to diagnose possible joint damage.

Are There any Risks or Complications?

In addition to the general risks of anesthesia and surgery that can include: allergic reactions to medications, respiratory problems, bleeding, and infection, there are additional complications:

  • Bleeding inside the joint.
  • Damage to cartilage, meniscus or ligaments.
  • Blood clots.
  • Injury of blood vessels or nerves.
  • Infection in the joint.
  • Rigidity in the treated area.

Why it’s done?

Doctors use arthroscopic surgery to help diagnose and treat a variety of joint conditions, most commonly those affecting the:

  • Knee
  • Shoulder
  • Elbow
  • Ankle
  • Hip
  • Wrist

Conditions treated with arthroscopy include:

  • Loose bone fragments.
  • Damaged or torn cartilage.
  • Inflamed joint linings.
  • Torn ligaments.
  • Scarring within joints.