Arthroscopy and Joint Replacement
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure on a joint in which an examination and sometimes treatment of damage is performed using an arthroscopy, an endoscope that is inserted into the joint through a small incision.
The advantage over traditional open surgery is that the joint does not have to be opened up fully. For knee arthroscopy only two small incisions are made, one for the arthroscopy and one for the surgical instruments to be used in the knee cavity.
When Knee Arthroscopy is recommended
Your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy if you have a painful condition or knee became unstable frequently that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.
Knee arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the cartilage surfaces and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.
Common arthroscopic procedures for the knee include:
1. Removal or repair of a torn meniscus (Meniscus repair or Meniscectomy)
2. Reconstruction of a torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligament.(ACL or PCL Reconstruction)
3. Removal of inflamed synovial tissue (Arthroscopic Synovectomy)
4. Trimming of damaged articular cartilage (Arthroscopic Joint Clearance)
5. Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
6. Treatment of patella (kneecap) problems
7. Treatment of knee sepsis (infection)
Arthroscopy equipment is very small, so only small cuts in the skin are needed. This means it has some advantages over "open" surgery, including:
1. Less pain after the operation
2. faster healing time
3. lower risk of infection
4. you can often go home the next day of surgery
5. you may be able to return to normal activities more quickly
Knee Joint Replacement
Knee joint replacement is a procedure that involves replacing an injured or ailing knee with an artificial joint, or prosthesis.
The prosthesis is made of metal alloys, plastics, and polymers. It mimics the function of a knee.
What is the purpose of a knee joint replacement?
The most common reason for knee replacement surgery is to relieve severe pain caused by osteoarthritis or other form of arthritis. People who need knee replacement surgery usually have problems walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. Some also have knee pain at rest.
When Surgery Is Recommended
There are several reasons why your doctor may recommend knee replacement surgery. People who benefit from total knee replacement often have:
1. Severe knee pain or stiffness that limits everyday activities, including walking, climbing stairs, and getting in and out of chairs. It may be hard to walk more than a few blocks without significant pain and it may be necessary to use a cane or walker
2. Moderate or severe knee pain while resting, either day or night
3. Chronic knee inflammation and swelling that does not improve with rest or medications
4. Knee deformity — a bowing in or out of the knee
5. Failure to substantially improve with other treatments such as anti-inflammatory medications, cortisone injections, lubricating injections, physical therapy, or other surgeries
Candidates for Surgery
There are no absolute age or weight restrictions for total knee replacement surgery.
Recommendations for surgery are based on a patient's pain and disability, not age. Most patients who undergo total knee replacement are age 50 to 80, but orthopedic surgeons evaluate patients individually. Total knee replacements have been performed successfully at all ages, from the young teenager with juvenile arthritis to the elderly patient with degenerative arthritis.
Realistic Expectations of Total Knee Replacement
An important factor in deciding whether to have total knee replacement surgery understands what the procedure can and cannot do.
Most people who have total knee replacement surgery experience a dramatic reduction of knee pain and a significant improvement in the ability to perform common activities of daily living. But total knee replacement will not allow you to do more than you could before you developed arthritis.
With normal use and activity, every knee replacement implant begins to wear in its plastic spacer. Excessive activity or weight may speed up this normal wear and may cause the knee replacement to loosen and become painful. Therefore, most surgeons advise against high-impact activities such as running, jogging, jumping, or other high-impact sports for the rest of your life after surgery.
Realistic activities following total knee replacement include unlimited walking, swimming, golf, driving, light hiking, biking, ballroom dancing, and other low-impact sports.
With appropriate activity modification, knee replacements can last for many years.