Arthroscopy is the imaging of the inside of the joints by using fiberoptic devices. The method used in the past for diagnostic purposes, is used for therapeutic purposes too along with the developing technology now. It is most commonly applied to the knee joint, as well as the shoulder, ankle, hip, elbow and wrist joints.
Why is Arthroscopy performed?
Arthroscopy is required for final diagnosis. The most accurate diagnosis is made by arthroscopy. Diseases and injuries can cause damage to the bones, cartilage, joint ligaments, muscles and tendons. Arthroscopy detects these damages.
In which situations is Arthroscopy used for treatment-purpose?
In the knee joint: removal of torn meniscus fragments, suturing of meniscus tears, anterior and posterior cruciate ligament repairs, early calcification, cartilage transplants, evacuation of joint inflammation, removal of diseased joint membrane, removal of benign tumors and cysts within the joint.
Shoulder: Muscle ruptures, shoulder dislocations, early calcification and so on.
Ankle: Intraarticular fractures, early calcification and so on.
Arthroscopy allows the arthroscope which is a small tube containing optical fibers and lenses, to enter the joint to be examined by making small incisions to the skin. The arthroscope is connected to a video camera and the joint is seen on the monitor. The size of the arthroscope depends on the size of the joint examined. The knee is examined by an arthroscope with a diameter of approximately 5 millimeters. There are arthroscopes as small as 0.5 millimeters in diameter to examine small joints such as the wrist.
Arthroscopic surgery is the general name given to the procedures applied in addition to this routine. After performing the necessary procedures, the surgical area is covered with a bandage. After the surgery, the patient is discharged on that day or the next day.
The surgical dressings are removed the next day. Small wounds are dressed. The holes drilled for arthroscopy heal in a few days. It will take several weeks for the holes to fully recover. Patients can return to their daily life after 3-4 days. Athletes can return to sports after 4-6 weeks if their physical condition is sufficient.