An arthroscopy is performed in an operating room under general or regional anesthesia. The arthroscope itself consist of a slender tube (a few millimeters wide) connected through a fiberoptic-like source to a miniature video camera and a television screen. The arthroscope is introduced into the knee via very small incisions. The knee is inflated with saline solution for optimal visualization.
Indications for an arthroscopy.
A) The diagnostic arthroscopy:
The arthroscopy procedure allows the surgeon to look inside the knee and inspect it for possible sources of pain, swelling, clicking and giving way. Via the arthroscope the surgeon can observe the entire joint cavity, the menisci, the articular cartilage, the synovial membrane which lines the entire joint and the cruciate ligament.
B) The "surgical" arthroscopy:
Thanks to miniaturized instruments, a number of procedures can be carried out without having to open the knee.
- The torn portion of a meniscus can be removed (leaving the intact portion behind). - Jagged areas of articular cartilage can be smoothed down.
- Excessive and/or inflamed synovial tissue can be shaved away.
-Finally via the arthroscope floating loose bodies can be removed.