Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which an arthroscope is inserted into a joint. Arthroscopy is a term that comes from two Greek words, arthro-, meaning joint, and -skopein, meaning to examine.
The benefits of arthroscopy involve smaller incisions, faster healing, a more rapid recovery, and less scarring. Arthroscopic surgical procedures are often performed on an outpatient basis and the patient is able to return home on the same day.
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Why is Arthroscopy necessary?
Diagnosing joint injuries and disease begins with a thorough medical history, physical examination, and usually X-rays. Additional tests such as an MRI, or CT scan also may be needed. Through the arthroscope, a final diagnosis is made which may be more accurate than through "open" surgery or from X-ray studies.
What are the joints that can be viewed with an Arthroscope?
Although the inside of nearly all joints can be viewed with an arthroscope, six joints are most frequently examined with this instrument. These include the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, and wrist. As engineers make advances in electronic technology and orthopaedic surgeons develop new techniques, other joints may be treated more frequently in the future.
What are the conditions that can be treated by Arthroscopy?
Some problems associated with arthritis can also be treated. Several disorders are treated with a combination of arthroscopic and standard surgery.
Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Some of the most frequent conditions found during arthroscopic examinations of joints are:
Synovitis - Inflamed lining (synovium) in knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, or ankle.
Injury - Acute and chronic.
Shoulder - Rotator cuff tendon tears, impingement syndrome, and recurrent dislocations.
Knee - Meniscal (cartilage) tears, chondromalacia (wearing or injury of cartilage cushion), and anterior cruciate ligament tears with instability.
Wrist - Carpal tunnel syndrome.
Loose bodies of bone and/or cartilage - Knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, or wrist.