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Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure by which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and/or treatment using a tube-like viewing instrument called an arthroscope.

Arthroscopy was popularized in the 1960s with the advent of fiberoptic technologies and is now commonplace throughout the world. Typically, it is performed by orthopedic surgeons in an outpatient setting. When performed in the outpatient setting, patients can usually return home on the same day the procedure is completed.

The technique of arthroscopy involves inserting the arthroscope, a small tube that contains optical fibers and lenses, through tiny incisions in the skin into the joint to be examined. The arthroscope is connected to a video camera and the interior of the joint is seen on a television monitor. The size of the arthroscope varies with the size of the joint being examined. For example, the knee is examined with an arthroscope that is approximately 5 millimeters in diameter. There are arthroscopes as small as 0.5 millimeters in diameter to examine small joints such as the wrist.

If procedures are performed in addition to examining the joint with the arthroscope, this is called arthroscopic surgery. There are a number of procedures that are done in this fashion. If a procedure can be done arthroscopically instead of by traditional surgical techniques, it usually causes less tissue trauma, may result in less pain, and may promote a quicker recovery. (William C. Shiel, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR and Jerry R. Balentine, DO, FACEP)

Arthroscopy can be used to diagnosis and/or to treat joint abnormalities. Most all patient are able to have the procedure done as an outpatient. If your doctor has recommended arthroscopy for you ask him to refer you to Outpatient Services East.

You may benefit from an arthroscopy procedure if you suffer from chronic joint swelling. The arthroscopy procedure has been beneficial in the removal of the inflamed joint tissue.  The tissue will be biopsied to determine the problem causing the inflammation and to figure out if any type of infection is in the joint. Arthroscopy can also provide information in some situations which cannot be diagnosed by simply aspiration (drawing fluid with a needle) and analyzing fluid.

Your doctor may recommend the arthroscopy procedure for a  to make an evaluation of knees and shoulders. It can also be used to examine and treat conditions of knees and shoulders, hips, wrist, ankles, feet, spine, and elbows.

If anything has become lodged within one of the joints it is possible to remove it with arthroscopy. (loose tissues, chips of bone, chips of cartilage, for foreign objects such as plant thorns or needles)

Remember the procedure can be done at Outpatient Services East. For more information call them today;

Phone: 205-838-3888   

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