Arthroscopy is a type of "keyhole surgery" whereby an orthopaedic surgeon is able to look at the surface of the joints in order to diagnose and treat joint problems, perform surgery on injured ligaments, and monitor an already existing disease that is causing joint pain. The procedure is often used to treat severe knee injuries.
In order to perform arthroscopy your surgeon will insert a camera into the joint and images will be displayed on various screens. This will allow your orthopaedic surgeon to see the inside of the joint as he works with small surgical tools. This surgical equipment is exceptionally small, which means that the incisions made in the body will be very small and much less painful, and they can heal quickly. This is often referred to as "keyhole surgery".
Arthroscopy can be performed to treat a number of knee injuries. Your doctor may recommend the procedure if you have torn ligaments, a dislocated patella, a fracture or a degenerative condition like early arthritis.
Torn ligaments can occur in the cruciate (ACL and PCL) and or collateral ligaments, and these tears can cause substantial knee pain as well as instability (buckling or giving way) and locking. In some cases, arthroscopic surgery might be recommended.
A dislocated patella occurs when the kneecap has moved out of its correct place in the knee. The ligaments, muscles and tendons are then damaged as a result, and may require arthroscopic or open surgery.
Knee fractures can cause terrible knee pain, swelling, and bruising. Although some fractures can be treated with braces, others do require knee surgery.
Patients who suffer from degenerative conditions may also require surgery. In some cases, treatment such as cortisone injections and anti-inflammatory injections can be used to treat conditions like osteoarthritis, in addition to arthroscopic debridement . However, in more advanced and severe cases, a total knee replacement may be recommended.