Using an arthroscope can help orthopedic surgeons at places like Framingham Orthopedic Associates find out what underlying problems there are when someone is having trouble with their joints. An arthroscope is inserted into a small incision near the joint in question. It has a microscopic camera attached to the scope, allowing the doctor to be able to view the muscle area on a monitor for further assessment. If during this evaluation it is decided that the joint will need repair, an arthroscopic surgery will need to be done. Here is a synopsis of what you can expect if you are a candidate for this type of surgery.
What Can Arthroscopic Surgery Repair?
Arthroscopic surgery is used to surgically repair areas of joints that are not working properly. Arthroscopic surgery can be used to help with severe arthritis. There is a fairy new procedure that is being done using an arthroscope to remove cartilage from around the joint, allow it to grow new cells outside of the body in a laboratory setting, and then use the newly made cells to place over the joint area, minimizing the pain of arthritis.
Another surgical scenario is that of a patient that has chronic swelling of the joints. An arthroscopic surgery can be done to remove some of the cartilage around the joints to have analyzed. This would help to determine the cause of the swelling in more depth than a procedure where the fluid is drained by a needle. The evaluation will help the doctor determine the next course of action.
Arthroscopic surgery is used to remove pieces of bone that may have become chipped and embedded in the joint. It is also used to do evaluations of areas of joint that have become the victim of a ligament strain or tear.
What To Expect Before And During Surgery
You will need to have a complete evaluation done before having an arthroscopic surgical procedure. The doctor will need to make sure that your body will be able to handle anesthesia and you may need to do an EKG or have X-Rays taken beforehand.
You will be able to have the surgery done as an outpatient in the doctor's office rather than in a hospital setting. It is a procedure without much blood loss and recovery is rather quick. You would need to have the anesthesia administered and then the doctor will insert the scope into an incision made near the joint area. The camera will aid in the repair of any joint problems being fixed.
Other small instruments can be inserted into additional incisions that would be made. These are used to remove tissue or add sutures to the joint area. After the instruments are removed, the incisions will begin to heal. The patient should keep the incisions covered and rest for a few days after surgery.