Arthroscopic Surgery – A Minimally Invasive Option for Diagnosing & Treating Certain Joint Conditions
Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive orthopedic procedure that allows a surgeon to evaluate, diagnose, and treat certain joint conditions. Utilizing an arthroscope—a specialized surgical instrument with a tiny video camera and fiber-optic light source attached to the end—a surgeon can view highly magnified and illuminated images of internal joint structures on an external monitor in real time. The surgeon can then determine the type and extent of the injury and sometimes address or repair it during the same surgical session, if necessary.
What Is Arthroscopy Used For?
Joint injuries can affect bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Typically, the diagnostic process begins with a thorough medical history, a physical examination, and X-rays. Additional imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans and computed tomography (CT) scans, may be ordered as well.
Arthroscopic surgery may then be used to confirm a diagnosis of and/or treat:
- Shoulder or knee inflammation
- Cartilage damage
- A ligament tear
- Tendinitis, tendinopathy, or tendinosis
- Knee instability
- Shoulder impingement syndrome
- A loose bone or cartilage fragment floating in a knee or shoulder
Because the arthroscope and other pencil-thin surgical instruments used during arthroscopy are inserted through very small “buttonhole” incisions, this type of procedure can help some patients avoid highly invasive open surgery. For instance, the most commonly performed arthroscopic procedures are arthroscopic knee surgery and arthroscopic shoulder surgery, mainly because the knee and shoulder are relatively large joints that are particularly well-suited for arthroscopy.
With that said, when deciding on a surgical approach, the primary consideration should always be the likelihood of achieving the best possible outcome—not the smallest incisions. Because not all patients can benefit from arthroscopic surgery, it is essential to evaluate each patient’s situation individually. If a surgeon does not believe a patient’s joint injury can be effectively addressed with arthroscopy, then he or she will suggest another surgical procedure or treatment.
Arthroscopic Surgery Performed by a Board-Certified Surgeon in Lafayette
Peter D. Vizzi, MD, is a board-certified surgeon who provides comprehensive orthopedic care in Lafayette, Louisiana. As a highly experienced joint specialist, Dr. Vizzi has mastered the intricacies of arthroscopy and other minimally invasive surgical techniques. Recognizing that every patient is unique, he takes a personalized approach to treatment to meet the specific needs of each individual he treats.
If you would like to learn more about arthroscopic surgery and other diagnostic and treatment options for your joint condition, contact Dr. Vizzi’s office in Lafayette, LA, to request a personal consultation. Dr. Vizzi can help you decide if arthroscopic surgery is right for you.