Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Arthroscopy to Treat Joint Problems

It is typically performed as an outpatient procedure. It may be performed under general, regional, spinal or local anaesthesia.
Arthroscopy may be used for diagnosis and/or treatment of the knee, shoulder, wrist, ankle and elbow joints. Arthroscopic procedures are most commonly performed on the knee and shoulder joints.
A small incision is made on the skin over the joint which is to be examined and an arthroscope is inserted into the incision. The arthroscope is connected to a video camera which is connected to a television monitor. The image projected on the screen helps to guide the arthroscope and the surgical instruments.
For joint examination, a specialized instrument called examination hook is used to see if the tissues and the supporting structures are intact or torn.
If surgical treatment is needed, the orthopaedic surgeon will insert tiny surgical instruments like motorized shavers, scissors or lasers through another small incision.
When is it needed?
Arthroscopy may be needed to determine the nature of the joint damage and the extent of damage when other diagnostic testing like CT scan or MRI is not able to establish the diagnosis.
To make a diagnosis tissue biopsy may also be performed during arthroscopy.
Arthroscopy may be needed to diagnose and detect inflammation, tears, torn tendons, dislocations, loose bone or loose cartilage fragments.
Treating specialty
Orthopaedic specialists perform treatments in all areas of orthopaedics, including sports injuries, hand, foot and spine procedures, as well as arthroscopies and minimally invasive surgeries.
If you are looking for expert Orthopaedic surgeons in New York City area, the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Sports Medicine at St. Luke's and Roosevelt Hospitals offers treatments for all muscle, bone, and joint ailments.
New York-Presbyterian Hospital has top Orthopaedic surgeons in New York City specializing in the use of minimally invasive surgical procedures.
What can you expect?
Arthroscopy causes less tissue damage and less pain and discomfort than traditional surgical techniques.
There is less blood loss as compared to traditional surgical techniques and also shorter hospital stay.
The recovery will be quicker, there will be less scarring and there is lower risk of complications.
The treated person may return to work within a day or two if the job is not physically demanding.
Playing vigorous sports can be resumed only after a few weeks depending on the progress which will vary from person to person.
Physiotherapy should be started after the procedure and should be continued till the time the patient fully recovers.
How well does it work?
There may be swelling around the treated joint which subsides in a week to fifteen days. Pain killers and anti inflammatory drugs will be helpful. Cold compression over the treated joint will help to reduce the swelling and inflammation.
There may be bleeding and infection at the surgical site. There may be joint stiffness. There may also be damage to the nerves around the joint.

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