Arthroscopy, which is the method used to examine and treat the problems in the joint, is applied to the knee joint as well as the shoulder, hip, wrist and ankle joints. In arthroscopy surgery, it is aimed to provide the most benefit with the least effect on the body integrity of the patient.
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery. Large incisions are not made on the skin, instead treatment is provided with the smallest incisions. Therefore, it is also known as closed surgery method. The most important advantage is that it provides a chance to recover in a very short time, especially after the surgery due to the small incision, less pain and a comfortable process for the patient.
In arthroscopy which is performed by entering through several holes of approximately 0.5 cm in size, special treatment and imaging devices are used. On the one hand, the instruments to be used for repair are sent to the damaged area and on the other hand, imaging is provided by a high-resolution camera and fiber optic light source placed in thin pipes. The surgeon sees the damaged area on the high-resolution monitor and performs the repair. Images are larger than normal for comfortable and easy viewing. This gives the physician a wider viewing angle. In arthroscopy, the damaged parts are both detected and repaired. It provides comfort to the surgeon during the surgery and to the patient in the postoperative period.
When is Arthroscopy Used?
Arthroscopy is used for diagnosis and treatment in most of the problems involving large joints.
- In case of injury to the joint cartilage or ligaments,
- To determine the cause of pain, swelling, and inflammation,
- In case that the joint loses its stability,
- For the treatment of early joint arthritis,
- To eliminate the restricted movement caused by trauma and disease,
- For the repair of recurrent shoulder dislocations,
- For the treatment of muscle compression,
- In the diagnosis and treatment of joint diseases such as elbow, hip, shoulder, ankle, and wrist.
What are the Advantages of Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy has obvious advantages to the patient, especially during the recovery process. In order to understand this advantage, it is sufficient to compare approximately 10-15 cm incision made in open surgery and 0.5 cm incision made in arthroscopic surgery. The small treatment area makes the recovery process faster and painless. On the other hand, the more technology gets involved, the less likely it is to make a mistake. Therefore, it provides advantages during surgery as well as the post-op process. The surgeon has a clearer vision than open surgery, thanks to the high-resolution camera and monitor equipment. One of the most important advantages is the low risk of complications.
- The patient recovers faster.
- The patient returns to normal life faster.
- The patient gets up on the same day.
- The patient is discharged from the hospital on the same day or the next day.
- The patient starts the postoperative exercises earlier, which directly affects the recovery time.
- The scar heals quickly.
- Since the large incision is not opened, there is no scar throughout the application area. There will be a very small wound because the procedure is performed through small holes of 0.5 cm. These scars also will not appear in a short time.
- The risk of complications is lower when compared to open surgery.
- Active sporter has a higher chance of returning to sports.
- In cases involving the knee joint, cartilage and connective tissue damage can be repaired successfully.
One of the most commonly used sites of arthroscopy in the knee. Thus, open surgery is no longer used in meniscus and ligament injuries thanks to arthroscopic surgery. The arthroscopic method can be used for synovitis and cartilage injuries. For more information, you can read knee arthroscopy article.
Shoulder arthroscopy can be used for recurrent shoulder dislocations, rotator cuff ruptures, muscle compression, removal of intraarticular free bodies, and early shoulder joint osteoarthritis. Orthopedic specialists often prefer arthroscopy for shoulder diseases as well as knee diseases. For more information, you can read shoulder arthroscopy article.
Ankle arthroscopy is preferred for cartilage lesions, soft tissue trauma, pain caused by bone compression, removal of free bodies within the joint, ankle osteoarthritis and ligament injuries. For more information, you can read the ankle arthroscopy article.
Hip arthroscopy may be preferred especially in the treatment of femoroacetabular impingement syndrome and labrum tears. A femoralacetabular impingement syndrome is the condition where the femur has an excess output and / or the edges of the hole are larger and deeper than necessary. With hip arthroscopy, the compression bone protrusions are shaved and the compression is eliminated. Hip arthroscopy repair can also be performed in case of forced rupture of the labrum, which serves as a gasket on the hip (such as the meniscus on the knee). For detailed information, you can read the hip arthroscopy article.
Elbow arthroscopy is a closed surgery method that has been heard in recent years but can still be performed in several centers. It is applied through 0.5 cm holes made on both sides and back of the elbow. Elbow arthroscopy can be performed especially for cartilage problems, removal of intraarticular free fragments and intraarticular synovitis. For more information, you can read the elbow arthroscopy article.
Recovery Process after the Arthroscopy
The recovery period after arthroscopy is faster when compared to open surgeries. The patient stands up on the same day, and usually go back home on the same or next day. Light exercises can be started immediately. Because the incisions are very small, the pain is less when compared to open surgery. Depending on the procedure, the physician may recommend you to use splints, straps, or crutches to protect the joint. After arthroscopy, physical therapy and rehabilitation of the joints can be started early. When exercises and physical therapy is started early, it will help the recovery process to progress rapidly. Postoperative movement restriction is often not encountered.