Arthroscopy, Here's What You Should Know

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Arthroscopy, Here's What You Should Know
Arthroscopy, Here's What You Should Know

Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure performed by making an incision the size of a keyhole to insert an instrument called an arthroscope. This procedure aims to diagnose and treat a number of joint disorders

Arthroscope is a small tube equipped with a flashlight and camera. This tool serves to capture an image of the joint and display the image on the monitor screen. From the screen above, the doctor can find out the type of injury the patient has and determine the appropriate treatment.

Arthroscopy, Here's What You Should Know - Alodokter

Arthroscopy Indication

Arthroscopic procedures are usually performed to examine and treat joint disorders in the shoulder, elbow, hip, wrist, ankle, and knee. Some joint disorders that can be diagnosed and treated with arthroscopy are:

  • Frozen shoulder
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Jaw joint disorders (tempomandibular disorder)
  • Tears in the cartilage in the shoulder (labral tears)
  • Inflammation of the shoulder joint (bursitis)
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Tears in the muscles and tendons in the shoulder (rotator cuff tendon tears)
  • Damage to cartilage in the kneecap (chondromalacia)
  • Tears in the cartilage in the knee (meniscal tears)
  • Anterior knee ligament injury (ACL tears)
  • Patellofemoral pain syndrome

In addition to the above conditions, arthroscopy can also be used to remove loose pieces of bone or cartilage and suck out fluid deposits in the joints.

Please note, arthroscopy should not be performed on patients suffering from the following conditions:

  • Severe osteoarthritis
  • Infection of the soft tissue around the joint
  • Blood flow disorders, especially in the pelvis and legs

Arthroscopy Warning

There are several things that patients should know before undergoing arthroscopy, namely:

  • Patients with heart failure, emphysema, high blood pressure, and diabetes should first inform their doctor about their condition before undergoing arthroscopy.
  • Patients who are over 50 years old and have a history of heart or lung problems should have an EKG and chest X-ray before undergoing arthroscopy.
  • Patients suffering from soft tissue infections, degenerative joint disease, bone fragility, overweight, and blood clotting disorders are not recommended to undergo arthroscopy.

Before Arthroscopy

Before starting the arthroscopic procedure, the patient needs to know the following things:

  • Orthopedic doctors can ask patients to stop taking certain drugs. Therefore, tell your doctor which medicines, herbal products, or supplements you are currently taking.
  • Depending on the type of anesthetic to be administered, the doctor may ask the patient not to eat solid foods for 8 hours before the arthroscopy.
  • Patients are not advised to drive alone after arthroscopy. Therefore, ask friends or family to accompany and take you home after the arthroscopy is finished.
  • Patients are advised to wear loose and comfortable clothing to make it easier to put them back on after the arthroscopy.

In addition to the things above, the doctor will also perform a number of examinations to ensure that arthroscopy is the right procedure for the patient. These checks include:

  • Blood test, including white blood cell count, rheumatoid factor test, C-reactive protein test, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate test
  • Scan with X-ray photo, ultrasound, CT scan, or MRI

Arthroscopy Procedure

Arthroscopic procedure begins with the injection of local, regional, or general anesthetic, according to the patient's condition. After the anesthetic works, the patient will be positioned in such a way, depending on the part of the joint to be operated on.

After that, the skin area on the part of the body that will be operated on is cleaned with antibiotic liquid.Next, the doctor will make a keyhole-sized incision in the patient's skin for the arthroscope to enter. The doctor can also make several incisions to insert other surgical instruments or instruments.

The doctor can see the joint image captured by the arthroscope on the monitor screen. While monitoring the problematic joint, the doctor can also perform actions, such as removing or repairing damaged tissues in the joint area. Generally, arthroscopic procedures last from 30 minutes to 2 hours.

After Arthroscopy

After the procedure is complete, the doctor will close the incision and transfer the patient to the recovery room. The patient may feel pain in the operated joint. To relieve the pain felt by the patient, the doctor will give pain medication.

After undergoing arthroscopy, the patient will be advised to:

  • Use a splint or crutches for a while
  • Avoid strenuous physical activity for a few weeks
  • Doing rehabilitation therapy as well as regular check-ups with the doctor
  • Applying R.I.C.E (rest, ice, compress, and elevate), which is resting the joint, compressing the joint with ice wrapped in a cloth or towel, wrapping the joint, and elevating the joint area higher than the position of the heart when sitting or lying down to relieve swelling and pain

Arthroscopic Complications

Arthroscopy is a safe procedure. However, in some cases, this procedure can cause complications such as:

  • Bleeding inside the joint
  • Infection in the joints (septic arthritis)
  • Damage of joint and surrounding tissue due to the use of surgical instruments during arthroscopic procedures
  • Blood clot in the leg (DVT)
  • pulmonary embolism, which is blockage of blood vessels in the lungs due to blood clots that are released from other areas

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