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Knee Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy web based movie

Overview

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that is done through tiny incisions and allows the doctor to treat a variety of disorders in the knee joint. Originally developed in Japan in the 1960s, arthroscopy was quickly adopted by surgeons in the United States and throughout the world. Though initially used only in the knee, the procedure has been adapted to other joints with great success – most commonly the shoulder, elbow, hip and ankle.

The “arthroscope” (or “joint camera”) is a fiber-optic instrument slightly narrower than a pen that is placed into the knee with the patient asleep. A small video camera is attached to the arthroscope and allows the surgeon to view the inside of the joint on a high-definition television monitor. Additional incisions (usually one or two) are then made to pass small instruments, ranging in size from 3 – 5 millimeters, into the knee. These specialized instruments allow the surgeon to accurately diagnose and treat the damaged structures in the joint.

In the past, most orthopaedic injuries required complicated operations with large incisions, long hospital stays and extensive physical therapy. Today, many procedures are done entirely or in combination with the arthroscope, allowing less invasive surgery, less patient discomfort, and accelerated rehabilitation after surgery.

Some of the more common arthroscopic procedures in the knee are:

  • Partial meniscectomy (removal of torn cartilage)
  • Meniscus repair
  • Loose body removal
  • Reconstruction of torn ligaments (ACL, PCL)
  • Cartilage Repair
  • Improving motion / treatment of patella (knee cap) instability
  • Smoothing of joint surface cartilage
  • Synovectomy (removal of inflamed joint lining)

Additional Information

For more information, visit http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/topic.cfm?topic=A00299.

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