When you hear you need surgery, it’s natural to experience fear and curiosity as some of the first emotions. You may find yourself grappling with questions like:
- “How much is it going to hurt?”
- “How long will it take to recover?”
- “Will I have a big scar to deal with on top of the stress of the surgery?”
The very nature of surgery makes it intimidating. No one is an ‘old pro’ when it comes to having surgery. However, thanks to great advances in orthopedic surgical technology, undergoing surgery is less intimidating than ever, especially when it comes to arthroscopy.
What is Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopic procedures are becoming more common in today's medical world. Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive treatment in which the surgeon makes a small incision about the size of a buttonhole and inserts a small, fiberoptic camera called an arthroscope. (NCBI) The video from the arthroscope is displayed on a screen in the operating room. Once your doctor is able to look at the screen and examine your joint, they then determine if there is a problem and what the best course of treatment will be. Oftentimes, if surgery is needed, it can be done as part of the arthroscopic procedure.
Your surgeon may make other incisions in the same area as the incision used to insert the arthroscope. Through the small incisions the doctor can insert tools that allow them to perform a minimally invasive surgery. These tools give your doctor the ability to cut, grab, and even stitch tissue, all without needing a large, invasive procedure.
What Types of Surgeries Are Ideal for Arthroscopy?
As you probably gathered, arthroscopy is a procedure typically used for repairing damaged joints. So, let's scope out what type of procedures are ideal for arthroscopic surgery.
The knee is the ideal joint for an arthroscopic procedure. There are two pads of cartilage in the knee called menisci. Each of these pads is called a meniscus. These two pads provide cushion between the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone). This cushion helps absorb impact during activities, like jumping, running, and walking. These pads of cartilage can become torn, worn, or damaged. An arthroscopic procedure allows for the cartilage pads to be repaired without a highly invasive, physically demanding operation.
The shoulder is the runner-up for arthroscopic surgeries. Many shoulder problems can be treated using arthroscopy, including rotator cuff issues, arthritis, frozen shoulder, and issues where MRIs or x-rays cannot get the view needed to properly diagnose the condition.
The ankle is another common joint for arthroscopy procedures. Athlete's ankle, infections, and many other ankle issues can be diagnosed and treated using arthroscopic procedures.
What Are the Advantages of Arthroscopic Procedures
As previously mentioned, arthroscopic procedures consist of minimal incisions which are only made at the points where the camera and tools are inserted. As a result, patients typically recover much more quickly and with less pain and soreness because of arthroscopy.
Many arthroscopic surgeries can be done as outpatient procedures. This means patients don't have to worry about long stays in the hospital and the lack of true comfort.
Ask Orthopedic Associates About Arthroscopy
At Orthopedic Associates we understand any surgery can be intimidating and confusing. We are arthroscopic experts and we are here to address any questions or concerns you may have. We will be happy to help you navigate the process of arthroscopic surgery. Connect with our Orthopedic Associates team today.