Arthroscopy Los Lunas NM
Graduation Year: 2007
New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates
Medical School: Yale Univ Sch Of Med, New Haven Ct 06510
Graduation Year: 1966
Medical School: Univ Of Pittsburgh Sch Of Med, Pittsburgh Pa 15261
Graduation Year: 1986
Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe, NM
Medical School: Tufts Univ Sch Of Med
Year of Graduation: 2003
Hospital: Palmetto Richland
Accepting New Patients: Yes
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A Patient's Guide to Arthroscopy
Until recently, surgery on the inside of any joint meant making a large incision and opening the joint to do even the most minor procedure. Twenty years ago, fiber optics began changing all that and is continuing to change how orthopedic surgeons operate on joints in the body.
What is it?
The term arthroscopy basically means to look into the joint. (Arthro means joint, and scopy means look.) So the common phrase scope the joint means to insert an arthroscope into the joint and have a look. In the early days before the development of miniature video cameras, about all the surgeon could do was take a look.
Over the past several years, the development of very small video cameras and specialized instruments have allowed surgeons to do more than simply take a look into the joint. The arthroscope is now used more and more for actual surgical procedures.
How is it used?
Using the arthroscope to assist with joint surgery usually involves making smaller incisions into the joint than those made in a regular open-incision surgery. Once the arthroscope is inserted into the joint, it is used first to try to see the problem. In this way, the problem can be confirmed before making any large incisions and causing any damage unnecessarily. Using the arthroscope as his eyes the surgeon can then use small specialized instruments inserted into the joint through other small incisions to perform the operation. As surgeons have become familiar with this type of surgery, more surgical procedures that were once done with large incisions are now being done arthroscopically.
Why is it better?
All surgical procedures that are done result in damage to tissues that are otherwise normal, because an incision must be made to see the problem. This is particularly bothersome for joints because to enter a joint, the joint capsule and ligaments must be incised (cut into). For minor surgical procedures inside the joint, it is not unusual for the recovery time to be much longer. This is because the normal tissues that were cut must also heal. Also, large incisions into the joint to perform surgical procedures increase the chances for infection. Long procedures where the joint is open to the air can lead to injury to the articular cartilage (the smooth surface of all joints) because it dries the cartilage out.
Arthroscopy causes less damage to normal structures by requiring much smaller incisions through the joint capsule and ligaments around the joint. Arthroscopy also allows the joint to remain closed and reduces the risk of infection and drying out of the articular cartilage. Because of this, the healing time for most arthroscopic procedures is greatly reduced. Rehabilitat...