While it’s one thing to wake up with achy knees after an active day, it’s quite another to battle constant, and nagging, knee pain. According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 14.6 million adults in the United States are plagued by severe joint pain, and knees rank among the most commonly affected joints.
At Orange Orthopaedic, Dr. James M. Lee Jr. and our team know more than a thing or two about knee pain and how disabling the problem can be. Our goal, when it comes to joint pain of any kind, is to restore pain-free movement to our patients in Orange, New Jersey. And one of our best tools is arthroscopy.
If you have painful knees, here’s what you should know about arthroscopic surgery.
There’s surgery, and then there’s arthroscopy
For us to properly diagnose and treat knee pain, we need to know what’s going on inside your joint, and advanced imaging only gets us so far. While X-rays, MRIs, and CT scans go a long way toward painting a preliminary picture of the joint problem, they fall short in providing more detailed information that only a firsthand look can obtain.
Traditionally, this chance to observe the inside of your joint came at a cost as we had to open the area up wide, often creating collateral tissue damage and adding considerable recovery time to your overall treatment plan.
But thanks to modern technology, we can perform highly complex procedures using specialized equipment that acts as our eyes and our hands, allowing us to get in and get out with the least amount of disruption possible.
Called arthroscopy, the most important tool in this procedure is our arthroscope, which is a tiny camera mounted on a thin tube, which we thread through a very small incision around your knee. The camera delivers real-time, 3D, high-def images straight to a monitor, allowing us to lay eyes on the inside of your joint to identify and treat your problem.
Then once we zero in on the exact problem, we use specialized tools that translate the movements of our hands in very small spaces, enabling us to preserve your surrounding tissue. Here again, we only need very small incisions in order to gain access for these tools.
The benefits of arthroscopy
Because our incisions around your knee are so small, the benefits of arthroscopy are myriad, and include:
- Less tissue damage
- Reduced risk of infection
- Quicker healing time
- Reduced swelling
And the best part is that we often perform arthroscopy on an outpatient basis, which means you’re free to go home on the same day.
One of the best uses of arthroscopy is for diagnostic purposes. Your knees are large and complex joints and, using an arthroscope, we can go in and take a look inside to see what’s causing your pain. Once we locate your problem, we can perform any number of treatments, including:
- Repairing or removing your meniscus
- Reconstructing your torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Removing inflamed synovial tissue
- Trimming damaged cartilage
- Removing loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Repairing your patella (kneecap)
It would be no exaggeration to say that knee arthroscopy has been a game changer in orthopedic circles, allowing us to diagnose and treat the most common knee problems, getting you back on your feet as quickly as possible.
If you’d like to explore how arthroscopy can remedy your knee pain, please give us a call or use the online scheduling tool to set up an appointment.