Arthroscopy (also called arthroscopic surgery) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint in which an examination and sometimes treatment of damage is performed using an arthroscope, an endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision. Arthroscopic procedures can be performed to evaluate or treat many orthopaedic conditions. The advantage over traditional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. Only two small incisions are made, one for the arthroscope and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the joint cavity. This reduces recovery time and may increase the rate of success due to less trauma to the connective tissue. It is especially useful for professional athletes, who frequently injure joints and require fast healing time.
The surgical instruments are smaller than traditional instruments. Surgeons view the joint area on a video monitor, and can diagnose and repair torn joint tissue, such as ligaments and menisci or cartilage. It is technically possible to do an arthroscopic examination of almost every joint, but is most commonly used for the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, foot, and hip.
Which Disorders Can Be Treated With Foot Arthroscopy?
The most common complaints of pain, swelling and limitation of motion in the ankle, especially after long sprained ankle spasm, are the result of cartilage injuries and soft tissue compression. These pathologies of cartilaginous and soft tissue are successfully treated with ankle arthroscopy. In the case of rheumatic diseases such as hemophilia and similar intraarticular hemorrhage, synovial tissue may be treated arthroscopically due to excessive enlargement of the synovial tissue in the joint causing filling and swelling of the ankle. Extraction of rare intra-articular tumors is also successfully performed arthroscopically.
What are the complications of arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a closed procedure and has low complications: infection in the joint, thromboemboli (clots formed in the leg veins obstruct the vessels leading to other organs), cartilage damage during the surgical procedure. In order to avoid these complications, the arthroscope practitioner and anesthesiologist take necessary precautions. In the early postoperative period, the complications are minimized by trying to mobilize the patient and restore the physical activity.