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Arthroscopy is an invasive procedure that orthopedic specialists use to diagnose and treat joint ailments. This diagnostic technique is used when other procedures like X-rays fail to detect the cause of joint pain and other symptoms. Special tools and instruments are used during arthroscopy. In this article, we will see the topic in detail while exploring its technique, use, and risks.
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Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that is used for the diagnosis and treatment of various joint problems. Despite being a surgery, arthroscopy is different from conventional ORIF techniques. Here, a special tool known as an arthroscope is used. It is a thin wire having a tiny camera attached to it. The surgeon will make a small button-sized hole in the affected joint to insert the arthroscope. The camera attached to it will produce images that will be shown on a big monitor screen. This helps the orthopedic specialist see clearly what the problem is and perform the correct diagnosis.
For the treatment, another small incision is made to insert the tools & equipment. The type of orthopedic implant chosen depends on the type of condition being treated.
If we talk about diagnosis using arthroscopy, then it is commonly used to diagnose joint problems, especially the ones that show nothing on imaging tests. While on the other hand, several conditions that can be treated using this technique may include:
When we talk about surgery, risks are there. Some of the common risks that may arise with arthroscopy may include:
Damage to nerves or tissues
Sometimes, when small instruments are inserted and moved within the joint, damage to the nerves or tissues may be there. However, this is not the case with every surgery.
The risk of bacterial infection is there with invasive treatments.
Blood clotting is rare and may be seen in the legs or lungs, especially after a surgery that lasts for more than an hour.
When compared to ORIF, arthroscopy is advantageous in many ways:
Arthroscopy requires one or more small incisions during treatment. While on the other hand, during ORIF, a bigger incision is required.
During arthroscopy, there is less tissue damage because of smaller incisions and the use of miniaturized tools. As a result, healing occurs faster.
Less Post-operative Pain
Studies have found that people who have undergone arthroscopy experience lesser pain when compared to those with ORIF. Hence, the dependence on analgesics is less.
Low Infection Rate
As there is less exposure of internal tissue to the external environment, the chances of infection reduce significantly.