ARTHROSCOPIC SURGERYOF THE KNEE

The best expertise in Orthopaedic & Arthritis care

KNEE ARTHROSCOPY

Arthroscopic Surgery (also known as keyhole surgery) is done with the help of miniaturized telescope to visualize the interior of the joint (Arthroscope). Special miniaturized instruments are used to perform the operation. These include manual instruments, motorized cutters (shaver system), electrocautery, radio-frequency ablation devices, etc. A large number of procedure-specific instruments and ancillary equipment is used. Arthroscopic surgeons typically undergo years of training to acquire and hone their surgical skills.

The advantages of arthroscopic surgery are minimal surgical scars, minimal damage to the muscles and faster recovery. Certain operations are very difficult to perform by traditional open surgical methods, but are easily done by arthroscopy. Many times, there are associated injuries or pathological conditions in addition to the primary problem. For instance, ligament injury of the knee may be associated with meniscal tears or cartilage defects. Arthroscopic surgery allows accurate characterization of these injuries and their treatment at the same time.

DISORDERS OF THE KNEE

The knee is the most commonly injured joint. The structures most commonly affected are the cruciate ligaments (ligament tear or rupture) and the meniscii (meniscal tear). Other structures can also be affected.

LIGAMENT TEARS

Injuries to the ligaments can cause instability of the knee. This can range from a minor sprain of the collateral ligament to severe disruption of multiple ligaments with gross instability. Instability causes abnormal movements in the knee which increases the stress on the meniscii (cushions) and the articular cartilage. This leads to progressive damage to the meniscii and the articular surface.

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MENISCUS TEAR

Injuries to the meniscii give rise to pain, catching and locking of the knee. Many times meniscal tears are associated with ligament injuries. Damage to meniscii increases the contact stress on the articular cartilage and leads to wear.

PATELLO-FEMORAL PROBLEMS

Injuries to the ligaments can cause instability of the knee. This can range from a minor sprain of the collateral ligament to severe disruption of multiple ligaments with gross instability. Instability causes abnormal movements in the knee which increases the stress on the meniscii (cushions) and the articular cartilage. This leads to progressive damage to the meniscii and the articular surface.

DISORDERS OF HYALINE CARTILAGE

Injuries to the cartilage can be caused by sporting injuries or accidents. Sometimes, a portion of bone (with its overlying cartilage) loses its blood supply and separates from its position (Osteochondritis Dissecans). Cartilage injury results in loss of smoothness of the surface and incongruity. This can lead to wear of the joint surfaces.

OTHER CONDITIONS

The synovial membrane can be affected by disoders like synovial chondromatosis, villo-nodular synovitis, etc.

Trauma, infection and arthritis also affect the knee but these disorders come under the purview of general orthopaedics and joint reconstruction.

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