Arthroscopy : Sports Injury Treatment

What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure done on injured patients to examine the interior of the joints and is often termed as being a form of key hole surgery. Arthroscopy is performed by using a medical instrument called the arthroscope which is a type of endoscope and similar to a thin tube or straw. An arthroscope is made up of fibre optics which transmits and sends out signals of light which can be used as a camera to see the specific joint in more in detail. The arthroscope is used to relay the images of the joint either into a video screen or screen eye piece so that the surgeons can diagnose any problems more easily.

Procedure of Arthroscopy Surgery

An arthroscope is inserted into the joint by a small incision which means that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. The procedure involves a patient either having a general or local anaesthetic but the practitioner will advise you on what is best for your individual circumstances. An anti- bacterial fluid will be used to clean the affected area and then two incisions will be made for the arthroscope and the examining instrument. A sterile fluid may be inserted into the joint in order for the joint to expand making the view more accessible for the surgeons to see the extent of damage. The surgeon will then repair any damage or injury that is present by using the video screen to see clearly. At the end of the procedure the arthroscope and other instruments will be removed and any excess fluid in the joint will be removed. Stitches and a sterile fluid may be needed to close any incisions and your joint will then be bandaged.

Advantages of Arthroscopy

There are many advantages to having an arthroscopy such as it enables the surgeons to make an accurate diagnosis establishing the various underlying joint problems such as reasons for limited movement of the joint and stiffness. An arthroscopy enables the surgeon to repair any damage which is present and repair the affected area. Arthroscopy can be used to treat sports injuries which affect the knee, shoulder, wrists and back. Arthroscopy can repair sports injuries which have led to damaged cartilage, tendons and ligaments and drain away any build up of synovial fluid. The surgery can also remove minor sections of the bone or cartilage which have been broken.

Recovering after the Arthroscopy

Once the arthroscopy has been completed the patient will be sent to the hospitals recovery room so that they can take rest. The patient’s blood pressure will then be checked and their overall wellbeing will be discussed. Most patients who have had an arthroscopy are allowed to go home on the day of surgery or the morning after the surgery has taken place. You will then be given a follow up appointment with the hospital approximately 4-6 weeks after the arthroscopy. Your recovery will then be assessed and results of the arthroscopy will be discussed.

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