WHAT IS ARTHROSCOPY?
Arthroscopy is a procedure in which a surgeon inspects a joint through a tiny camera. The surgery performed is a nominal insidious surgery. In this there is a direct access to the surgery site. Arthroscopy can be done on various joints in human body such as wrist, hip, shoulder, ankle, elbow and knee. This is a very common surgery which can be performed even after the diagnosis has been done way before. In this surgery the patient does not have to stay in hospital for too long as the recovery time is very less. Arthroscopy is a simple procedure that helps the patients move again without the joint problem that may get worse without any treatment.
Why is it Necessary?
Any problem in the joints can lead to inflammation or torn ligaments or tendons. Sometimes loose bones or cartilage and unexpected diseases can also occur. A detailed report of patient is prepared knowing his medical history followed by X-Ray, MRI and CT.
Synovitis can be treated which is an inflammation of lining in the joints. Some acute or chronic injuries can be treated. Various chronic diseases in joints are:
Dislocation or tendon tears in shoulders. Cartilage tears, ligaments tears and chondromalacia in knee. Carpal tunnel syndrome in wrist. Loosening of bone or cartilage bodies in various joints.
Treatments for various joints through arthroscopy are:
Damaged meniscus, dislocated kneecap, cartilage transfer, plica syndrome, torn anterior cruciate ligament etc.
Posterior ankle pain, cartilage damage, loose debris or bone spurs.
Bursitis, labral tears, arthritis and frozen shoulder etc.
Having fracture, ligament injury or ganglion cysts.
Some problems related to arthritis can also be cured:
- Release of carpel tunnel.
- Repair of torn ligaments
- Removal of loose bone
- Repair of torn cartilage
- Removal of inflammation
- Rebuilding of anterior cruciate muscle in knee.
No surgery can be performed with absolute no risk guarantee. Same is with Arthroscopy. There are some of the risks involved with it. These complications are though very uncommon, but occur sometimes and are as follows:
- Damage of tissues: Since there is the movement of the instruments inside the persons’ joints, it sometimes can damage the tissues inside the joints. Though this is very uncommon it may be seen as one of the complications of Arthroscopy.
- Chances of infection: Any surgery that is invasive has a little chances of infection that comes handy. It can happen if the immunity of the body is low or weak.
- Blood clots: any surgery that takes time longer than an hour or two has chances of developing blood clots. These clots are sometimes developed in the legs and sometimes in or around the lungs. Arthroscopy also has chances of blood clots.
- Other complications: Infection phlebitis that is the blood clot of a vein, too much swelling or bleeding, blood vessels or nerves gets damaged, and breaking of instruments during the procedures.
How is it Performed?
Arthroscopy is a very simple surgical procedure and is performed on the joint areas of the body that no more function well. It is an open surgery process and hardly takes an hour or two to complete. Any kind of joint problem can be removes by Arthroscopy whether it is a severe one or minimal. It is a very common kind of surgery with least number of complications.
- Though Arthroscopy is an open surgery the use of anesthetics are there and special instruments and preparations are done before the surgery.
- Depending on the intensity of the injury in the joints anesthetics are given. They can be general, spinal or local anesthetics.
- First of all surgeons make a small incision of about ¼” in diameter near the affected area in patients’ skin. Many other incisions can be made to view the nearby area.
- Metal trocars or tiny plastics are put into the incisions. Then a disinfected fluid is pumped into it so that the fragments are removed and the space is created.
- Then they introduce an instrument of pencil size containing a lens and magnifying system to illuminate the structure inside the joint.
- Trough the optics light is transmitted to the end of the arthroscope that is inserted at the end of the skin.
- Then the arthroscope is attached to a television camera of miniature size for seeing the interior of the joint from a very small incision. The surgeon can thus see the ligaments and cartilage under the joints and can determine the intensity of injury to repair them.
- To close the skin from incision process a small size suture is used by the surgeons after the surgery is performed.
- Lastly dressing is done on the operated area.
Recovery time after surgery depends on health of patient, the procedure done and the joints that was treated.
Post Operation: If you are given general anesthetics during the procedure than after been taken to the recovery room you will feel some pain in the joint operated.
Most of the time people are discharged just after the surgery or a day after following the meeting with the physiotherapist for the exercise suggestions.
After surgery you may feel nauseous for 24 hours. Do apply the ice packs on the joints to reduce swelling. Recommended joint exercises must be done. Dressings should be saved from any type of water contact. If getting wet they must be replaced. You can remove dressing after 5 to 10 days. Dissolvable stitches needs to be removed by professionals. Laborious jobs should be avoided as it may damage the joints.
If you have high fever, severe pain, increasing swelling, foul discharge from wounds or numbness then you must see the doctor immediately. These may be the signs of infection or nerve damage.
Benefits of Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimal incisive surgery that does not involve any complications and can be done within no time. It is not one of those surgeries where the patients have to wait for a very long time to recover. A very little precautions and controlled activities can help the patients gain total access to their operated joints once again. Some of the most common benefits of arthroscopy are as follows:
- Very less scarring: Contrary to the traditional surgery where the whole affected are needs to be opened up, this surgery is minimally invasive and does not require opening of the skin too much. Small instruments and injections leads to very less scarring and the pain after operation is also very less.
- Shorter time of recovery: The time to recover after operation is very less. Patients can get to their daily routine in a very short time.
- Low risk in surgery: Surgical risks are very low since this is a minimal invasive surgery. Patients are relaxed as arthroscopy does not involve any complications as compared to other high profile surgery. Thus arthroscopy is preferred.
How is recovery after Arthroscopy?
ANSWER: Recovery after Arthroscopy takes one to two weeks otherwise depends on the intensity of the joint problem. Dressing can be removed the other morning of the surgery. After that adhesive stripes can be applied for healing scars. Several weeks of exercise and rehab programs can heal the joints maximally. Recovery time is again different for different persons. Those who are fit such as athletes can return to daily activities in few weeks whereas older people may take long. Basically tedious jobs just after the surgery is prohibited as it may dislocate the joint again.
Is arthroscopy for everyone?
ANSWER: Yes, it is for people of all age group. People who suffer from joint problem can go through this surgery. Since this surgery is minimally invasive there is no need to cut the muscles and remove the skin. Thus it takes only few weeks to recover. With help of proper exercise joints can start working once again in the same condition. Different people take different time to recover. This may also depend on what kind of surgery you had. But Arthroscopy can help everyone live a life just like before the surgery.
Surgery in Mumbai and Thane
Since arthroscopy is a very easy kind of surgery, this open surgery does not involve much complication, it is done everywhere. This kind of surgery is done in Mumbai and Thane with experts in this field. Here the trained surgeons and orthopedic experts have years of experience in this field. Any problem in the joint or mobility issues can easily be treated here. These surgeons not only take care of a successful surgery but also a much successful recovery period. Proper exercises and rehabilitation therapies are suggested so that the patient can get back to normal life as soon as possible.