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Knee arthroscopy: a personal experience.

Knee Arthroscopy: A Personal Experience

If you have a damaged or "problem" knee, arthroscopy has become a treatment of choice because it can save you time, money - and pain. It is also fast, safe and effective.

Having injured my own knee, whether in the gymnasium or as a result of osteoarthritis or both, I was quite concerned that if my condition worsened I might have to have knee surgery. However, I was assured by an orthopedist that new technological advances have made it possible to diagnose and treat many knee problems surgically without making a large incision in the outer skin which protects the knee joint.

This is accomplished by using an arthroscope, a needle-shaped instrument that is passed into the knee joint through a very small sheath. The opposite end of the arthroscope is very similar to a telescope. According to the information supplied by my physician:

"To see the affected joint, an orthopedic surgeon can look directly through the arthroscope or attach it to a miniature color television camera. An image from the camera is then projected onto a television monitor."

Once the arthroscope is in place, several different instruments may be introduced by the surgeon to treat the affected joint. Forceps, probes, and shaving motors are some of the most common instruments used in conjunction with the arthroscope.

What conditions can be effectively treated with arthroscopic procedures? They include:

* Loose Bodies - This condition occurs when a piece of free-floating cartilage moves about within a joint. Arthroscopy has proved to be a very effective procedure for removing loose bodies from the joint.

* Worn Joint Surfaces - This problem occurs when a normally smooth joint becomes rough and uneven. It is usually the result of arthritic disease. Specially designed arthroscopic equipment allows the surgeon to shave smooth the rough surfaces of the joint.

* Torn Meniscus - Injuries may result in a tear of the meniscus (which provides a cushion between the two large bones of the knee joint). These tears can be removed or repaired with arthroscopy.

* Torn Ligaments - Ligament tears can be diagnosed, and in some cases, repaired through arthroscopy.

Arthroscopy requires only a few tiny incisions. This means less pain and scarring, shorter recovery time and in many cases is done on an out-patient basis.
COPYRIGHT 1989 Vegetus Publications
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Copyright 1989 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Roosevelt, Edith Kermit
Publication:Nutrition Health Review
Date:Jun 22, 1989
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