What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy refers to a minimally invasive surgical intervention on a joint, in which the diagnosis and treatment of a disease and injury is performed using an arthroscope, an endoscopic medical instrument inserted into the joint through a small incision. It consists of a small magnifying lens and a lighting system that uses fiber optics.
The term arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, Arthro and Skopia, which literally means look in the joint. Arthroscopic surgery can be performed to diagnose and treat many orthopedic diseases of various joints (most often the knee and shoulder), including meniscus tears, reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament, and resection of damaged intra-articular structures. The use of this operational technology is possible at almost any age.
When is the need for arthroscopic surgery?
Diagnosis of injuries and illnesses through arthroscopy is more accurate than with conventional X-rays, and treatment is more benign. The most frequent pathological conditions in which this technique can be applied are:
1. Inflammatory changes, for example, synovitis of the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist and ankle joints.
2. Acute or chronic injury:
- – Shoulder: rupture of the tendons of the rotator cuff, impingement syndrome and habitual dislocations
- – Knee: damage to the meniscus, chondromalacia, anterior cruciate ligament tears in combination with instability of the knee joint, dislocations and subluxation of the patella.
- – Hands: carpal tunnel syndrome.
- – Articular mice: for example, knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle or wrist joints.
3. For biopsy of the synovial membrane or other intra-articular structures.
4. Removal of calcium deposits or ossification in the joint cavity.
5. Combined surgical interventions combining open and endoscopic techniques.
How is arthroscopy performed?
Endoscopic interventions can be performed under local, regional or general anesthesia. The main advantage of arthroscopy compared with the traditional open surgical technique is the absence of the need for wide access to the joint cavity. For example, arthroscopy of the knee joint can be performed only through two small incisions: one for an arthroscope, and the other for special surgical instruments, the dimensions of which are smaller than that of traditional ones. During the operation, the surgeon observes the operative field on the video monitor in an enlarged form, which significantly improves the accuracy of manipulation. To improve the visualization and expansion of the joint cavity, it is filled with a special sterile fluid.
What are the benefits of arthroscopic intervention?
Many arthroscopic interventions are performed on an outpatient basis without long preoperative preparation. They significantly speed up rehabilitation time and improve treatment outcomes due to minimal trauma and reduce the likelihood of postoperative arthrosis. This is especially important for professional athletes after various injuries of the knee joint, in need of rapid rehabilitation. A slight injury of the articular tissues, unlike traditional arthrotomy, allows much earlier to start the mobilization of muscles, to restore movement in the joint and support ability of the limb. Many patients do not need pain medication and return home the next day after surgery. Also, after arthroscopic interventions, an excellent cosmetic result is noted.
Advantages of arthroscopy in the Medalp clinic:
1. As in the case of any high-tech medical intervention, the quality of the operation depends not only on the equipment, but to a greater extent on the experience, modernity of the methodical techniques and the surgeon’s professional skills.
In the Medalp clinic, experienced doctors perform arthroscopy, providing high quality arthroscopic interventions: Alexey Y. Pukhov, Sergey Y. Dokolin, Vyacheslav V. Monakhov.
2. Postoperative observation is carried out until the patient is completely restored.
3. Reaclinic rehabilitation programs at our branch will allow patients to quickly return to physiological and sports loads as quickly as possible.