Arthroscopy is a “keyhole” operation that is used to look inside and treat joints, i.e. knee joint. The word arthroscopy comes from two Greek words, “arthro” ( joint) and “skopein” (to look). The term arthroscopy means “ to look within the joint”.
It is performed through a very small incision in the skin, using a narrow telescope attached to a video camera. Compared to open surgery, which involves a larger incision. Keyhole surgery and is less painful, carries less risk of infection, and enables people to recover more quickly.
An arthroscopy may be used to investigate ankle problems, treat conditions such as inflammation, take small samples of tissue or repair damage to tissues and cartilage. The procedures can be done as a day case – without the need for an overnight stay in hospital.
Disease and injuries can damage bones, cartilage, ligaments, muscles and tendons. Some of the most common conditions found during arthroscopic examination of the joints are:
torn or abnormal cartilage
loose fragments of bone or cartilage
damaged joint surfaces
inflammation of the joint lining (synovium) in knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist or ankle
Meniscal (cartilage tears)
misaligned bones ( such as the kneecap)
Choosing An Arthroscopy
Not everyone who has ankle problems will need to have an arthroscopy. In many cases, the problem can be diagnosed by non-surgical methods such as MRI ( magnetic resonance imaging) and some problems can be treated using physiotherapy.