Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique used to view the interior of a joint to help in the diagnosis and treatment of complications. Instead of cutting open the entirety of the tissue surrounding a joint to investigate it, orthopedic surgeons need only make a number of small incisions into the area. Around 4 million patients undergo knee arthroscopies each year.
An arthroscopy consists of the insertion of a small lighted tube containing a camera into one of these incisions to examine the area to be diagnosed. What is seen by this camera will be displayed on a nearby monitor, creating a large image for the Beverly Hills orthopedic surgeon to work from while operating on the knee. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose, remove, or repair tissue from a knee that has been damaged.
What Conditions Can Arthroscopy of the Knee Treat?
Arthroscopy of the knee can be very useful for patients who are suffering from pain in their joint. It is able to diagnose and treat nearly all types of arthritis in the knee, providing relief for inflammatory, non-inflammatory, and infectious conditions. Injuries of the knee can also be examined to diagnose the severity and propose treatment for the patient.
Osteoarthritis, also known as non-inflammatory degenerative arthritis, is visible to a knee surgeon using an arthroscope. There has been an increase of cartilage wear inside isolated spots of the knee for younger patients, something that is readily treatable through an arthroscopy. Patients will be able to have this cartilage damage repaired using a special “paste” made from the patient’s own cartilage and inserted through this procedure.
Inflammatory arthritis, also known as rheumatoid arthritis, can produce chronic joint swelling in isolated spots of the knee. Arthroscopic removal of this inflamed tissue can sometimes provide relief to patients. Arthroscopy can also be used to diagnose the tissue by removing a small piece of the inflamed area for examination. Through this, the possible causes of inflammation can be discovered allowing for a more accurate treatment for the patient.
Treatment of Common Joint Injuries with Arthroscopy of the Knee
There are a number of common knee injuries that may potentially be treated through the use of arthroscopy. These include cartilage tears, tears or straining of the ligaments, and degradation of the cartilage beneath the kneecap.
Arthroscopy is used primarily as a diagnostic tool for these injuries, but is able to function as a treatment solution in some instances. Patients who have physical debris in their knee, such as flakes of bone or cartilage from arthritic damage, can also obtain relief by arthroscopic removal of debris.
Patients who undergo an arthroscopic surgery will generally not have to remain at the hospital following their procedure. Patients will have a bandage on their knee that they are strongly advised to keep dry in the days following surgery, with instructions that only the surgeon or a nurse is to remove the bandage.
In the days following surgery, patients should spend the time resting with their leg elevated most of the time and use crutches for walking. The premier sports medicine doctor in Los Angeles is Dr. Raj. He is a Double Board Certified Orthopedic Surgeon in Los Angeles and Beverly Hills offering minimally invasive knee surgery. His cartilage restoration procedures involve minimal blood loss and down time.