Historically, one of the major challenges in medicine has revolved around identifying what is happening inside the body without actually going into the body to do so. This used to be the only form of imaging. Today, we’ve got x-rays, CT scans, and other modalities that enable us to obtain important information before surgery. Additionally, minimally invasive surgical techniques have been developed in recent years. Arthroscopy is one example.
What is arthroscopy?
The arthroscopic surgical technique is common in orthopedic surgery. This minimally invasive method allows us to take a closer look at an injured joint without having to make large incisions. Instead, a small telescopic camera is inserted through a small incision and is passed into the joint to observe all involved structures.
What is special about arthroscopic surgery?
One of the major benefits of the arthroscopic surgical technique is the ability that it gives us to immediately repair the damage that we find within the joint. This repair most often takes place through the same small incision, saving time and recovery from an open surgical technique. Appropriate repair is easier to come by due to the accuracy of diagnosis obtained from internal observation of the affected joint.
Another benefit of arthroscopic surgery is that, in some cases, the procedure can be performed without general anesthesia. On the lower extremities, a spinal anesthetic may be administered. Regional anesthesia may also be an option in some cases. This means to block nerve signals to the area of the body we are treating. An interesting point of arthroscopic procedures with local, regional, or spinal anesthesia is that the patient can observe their surgery if they so desire.
Arthroscopic surgery has expanded since its inception in the early 1900s. Even since the 1970’s, when this technique was commonly used to observe the knee joint, we have seen immense growth. Now, arthroscopy is conducted on bone spurs, torn ligaments, torn cartilage, and even fractures to joints in all parts of the body, including the wrists, elbows, and shoulders.
Successful joint repair is a priority in our New Jersey orthopedic practice. Patient outcomes also encompass overall recovery and restoration of comfort. We are proud to conduct care in the most conservative manner possible and would be happy to speak with you further about your treatment options for injured joints.
Call (973) 942-1315 for a visit to our Wayne, Clifton, or Parsippany office.