What are the advantages of arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical intervention. It has progressed from a diagnostic tool to a treatment procedure which can efficiently heal a vast range of injuries.

Arthroscopy is considered to be one of the most important inventions of the last century in orthopedic surgery. It is a minimally invasive procedure performed with the aid of a small, pencil-sized arthroscope which is inserted into the damaged joint through small incisions. A high-definition, fiber optic camera with light and magnifying lenses is attached to the arthroscope, allowing the surgeon to observe the inside of the joint on a monitor.

The most noteworthy advantages of arthroscopic surgery are:

An arthroscope entails a more precise view of the joint than X-rays or other imaging techniques such as CT or MRI. By receiving high-quality, detailed images of the joint, the surgeon is able to assess a more precise diagnosis, evaluate the level of damage in the case of an injury or disease, as well as provide a more accurate and efficient treatment for joint conditions. Increased visibility also implies less damage to the nerves and blood vessels during surgery. Thus, the risk of subsequent complications is minimal.

Unlike the procedure involved by an open-surgery, the joint does not have to be completely opened during arthroscopic surgery. Consequently, the risk of infection decreases significantly and this intervention also entails reduced trauma to the connective tissue, less scarring and less post-operative pain. As the incision is considerably smaller, the healing process is faster as well. Therefore, you may return to work and perform your daily activities shortly after surgery.

Arthroscopic surgery is typically performed in less than an hour. Not only is the operative time shorter, but the hospitalization period is also reduced. Most patients can go home on the same day or the following day.

Another advantage of arthroscopy is that the surgeon can collect samples of tissue which can subsequently be carefully examined. This procedure is done under general anesthesia.


- answered by Staff at Marina Del Rey Hospital on 23rd November 2016

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