Arthroscopic knee surgery is a procedure in which a tube like narrow device is inserted through a small incision to examine the affected joint. The device used is an arthroscope.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is done on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. In some cases general anesthesia may be needed. This procedure became popular in 1960’s.
The arthroscope is equipped with a light and a camera and is connected to a monitor by which the internal structures can be visualized and studied. The arthroscope is available in various sizes, depending on which joint needs to be operated on.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is done in the following cases:
- · To treat any kind of injury to the ligament or the bone or cartilage of the knee joint area.
- · Smoothing the rough surfaces of the bone.
- · In cases where debridement of the tissue fragments is necessary.
- · To treat dislocation of the knee.
- · Grafting of the ligament.
Procedure of arthroscopic knee surgery:
Depending on the type of surgery it is decided if the surgery can be done under local anesthesia where the patient remains awake and can witness the whole surgical procedure being done. Spinal anesthesia is given to the patient to numb the knee joint area. If a major surgery has to be performed then general anesthesia is also given to some selected patients.
To control the bleeding during the arthroscopic knee surgery, a device is secured around the thigh area.
Depending on the area to be operated, incisions are made. Generally 2-3 surgical incisions are made. One incision is used for the insertion of the arthroscope. From the other incision sites other instruments are inserted. For stretching the knee, saline is injected around the joint area.
Arthroscope is inserted which is connected to a monitor through which various internal structures can be visualized.
After the surgical procedure is completed the saline which was injected to stretch the knee area is drained out.
The incision site is then cleaned and sutured over which a medical dressing is given.
Advantages of the arthroscopic knee surgery are as follows:
- · Incision size is small. So better healing.
- · The amount of local anesthesia needed is considerably less.
- · The time to recover is less. So the overall healing can be expected to be good.
Certain risks associated with the arthroscopic knee surgery are as follows:
- · Excessive bleeding from the surgical site area.
- · Infection may occur in some cases.
- · Sometimes bleeding occurs into the knee joint area.
- · The cartilage and the ligament which were unaffected at first may get damaged.
- · Injury to some blood vessel or the adjoining nerve may occur in some cases due to which additional complications result.
- · In rare cases there is infection of the joint after the surgery.
- · A blood clot in the leg sometimes occurs.
- · Some individuals experience stiffness in the joint after the surgery.
- · Some individuals have reactions like breathing problems and allergies after receiving any anesthetics.
Arthroscopic knee surgery has good prognosis in most cases. Also this surgery is relatively uncomplicated and simple. Great results can be achieved with this simple form of surgery.
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