17 Nov 2021

Technological Advancement in Arthroscopy

Post by uday patel

Bone resurfacing, and total and partial replacement in joints chiefly hips and knees are becoming regular occurrences. In medical terms bone replacement is known as arthroplasty. But there are many procedures employed that may not be for replacement but offer relief from pain and swelling and thus increase mobility. The modern technique used for intra-articular problems within joints is called arthroscopy. 

Scientific research and technology have evolved into syncretical transformation where one acts in an enhanced mode

MRI Scan Knee
MRI Scan of Knee

when combined with the other. The impact of scientific research and technology in combination is synergetic and the patient is the beneficiary.

MRI Machine
Equipment for MRI

We are witnessing this development more in the case of invasive procedures that are used during minimal and maximal surgeries. Although the combination is aimed at reducing invasive procedures by reducing the incision or insertion, it works the other way around too with positive results. 

Joints in the human body can become troublesome due to trauma, misuse, and old age. Once dysfunctional they can because of great discomfort and pain. In extreme cases, the appendage may not work at all or the use can lead to excruciating pain. This condition can lead to surgery when the joints are resurfaced or replaced.

These surgeries are performed by experienced orthopedic surgeons and require skills that are obtained by time and training. In joint replacement, chiefly in the case of knee and hip, faulty procedures can lead to reopening and often repeating the procedure. This can lead to a traumatic experience and also increase the cost involved.

Technological developments using medical devices can mitigate suffering while advanced research can lead to better post-operative care.   Joint replacements in the contemporary era are becoming less traumatic albeit the cost-benefit accrues in a roundabout manner.  These operations last around one to two hours demand intense post-operative care and heavy medication along with the inclusion of physiotherapy. Technical advances and modern therapeutics are making post-operative care less intense and helping in quick recovery. 

More About Arthroscopy

In the field of arthroscopy, tremendous advances have been made ensuring better medical outcomes. The developments have taken place in optics and instrumentation that result in mapping beforehand and guiding precision instruments into performing a required task like resurfacing the cap or bone spurs. Arthroscopic knee surgery techniques can also repair torn ligaments and cartilage and thus relieve the suffers from pain and discomfort. The ultimate aim of orthopedic surgery is to increase mobility by making the joints more functional and less troublesome.    

Arthroscopy is a technique wherein a fiber optic tube is inserted into a joint to visualize torn ligaments, assess degenerative and inflammatory conditions. Although smaller joints can be assessed using this technique most popular employment is in the case of ankle, knee, shoulder, and hip joints. Using this technique there is a lower risk of infection besides the invasion is minimal.  

Performed under general or spinal anesthesia the surgery is less traumatic and the recovery is quicker. This procedure is helpful in targeting scarred tissues leaving the healthy mass untouched.  

The arthroscope is inserted in the joint using small incisions a camera is attached to the tube. This makes it possible to see a visual of the interior high-definition TV screen. This facilitates the surgeon in conducting an examination and then making an assessment of the area. Making small incisions at required spots the expert surgeon then introduces a small surgical instrument to execute the task.   Though the whole procedure looks absolutely simple without any degree of difficulty, it requires experience and practice in order to gain accuracy.

This technique is not used in joint replacement but most of the procedures can be performed using this technique. Such operations are performed as day cases and the post-operative recovery is short for routine arthroscopies but in case of complex procedures, recovery can take more time. 

Braces or clutches may be required in case of complex procedures but for routine trimming of loose cartilages, no crutches or splints are required.    

In recent times, we have seen tremendous development in high-definition ultrasonography, MRI, and CT Scanning which with a positive impact on medical outcomes in orthopedics.   This development along with arthroscopy has come to stay making the whole procedure durable and less costly. In India, many orthopedic clinics specialize in this technique and offer services at affordable rates attracting overseas patients. This is increasing the scope of medical travel in India.                

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