Type of Surgery
Last updated: 11/24/2009
Knee arthroscopic surgery is a procedure performed through small incisions in the skin to repair injuries to tissues such as ligaments, cartilage, or bone within the knee joint area. The surgery is conducted with the aid of an arthroscope, which...
is a very small instrument guided by a lighted scope attached to a television monitor. Other instruments are inserted through three incisions around the knee. Arthroscopic surgeries range from minor procedures such as flushing or smoothing out bone surfaces or tissue fragments (lavage and debridement) associated with osteoarthritis, to the realignment of a dislocated knee and ligament grafting surgeries. The range of surgeries represents very different procedures, risks, and aftercare requirements.
While the clear advantages of arthrocopic surgery lie in surgery with less anesthetic, less cutting, and less recovery time, this surgery nonetheless requires a very thorough examination of the causes of knee injury or pain prior to a decision for surgery.
Athletes commonly tear or rupture the anterior cruciate ligament in the knee and require surgery to repair it. The narrator is this 3D animation explains how the patellar tendon is used to reconstruct the ACL.
Step A shows the anatomy of the knee from the front with the leg bent. To repair a torn meniscus, three small incisions are made into the knee to admit laparoscopic instruments (B). Fluid is injected into the joint to aid in the operation. The injury is visualized via the instruments, and the torn area is removed (C). (Illustration by GGS Inc.)
Arthroscopy (also called arthroscopic surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which an examination and sometimes treatment of damage of the interior of a joint is performed using an arthroscope, a type of endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Arthroscopic procedures can be performed either to evaluate or to treat many orthopaedic conditions including torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, ACL reconstruction, and trimming damaged cartilage.
The advantage of arthroscopy over traditional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Instead, only two small incisions are made - one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments. This reduces recovery time and may increase the rate of surgical success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. It is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure knee joints and require fast healing time. There is also less scarring, because of the smaller incisions. Irrigation fluid is used to distend the joint and make a surgical space. Sometimes this fluid leaks into the surrounding soft tissue causing extravasation and edema
Orthopedic complaints are the most common reason to seek medical care.
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