Arthroscopic Surgery for Osteoarthritis of the Knee?

Orthopedic surgeons perform arthroscopic surgery in many joints of the extremities, most com- monly the knee. Two or three incisions are routinely made, each measuring approximately 7 mm. The knee is inflated with f luid under pressure, with the assistance of a pump, to facilitate visualization. Because of advances in fiberoptics and instrumentation, many knee procedures (e.g., ligament reconstruction, meniscus excision and repair, synovectomy, and removal of loose bodies) can now be performed arthroscopically, with greater ease and accuracy and fewer complications than with an open incision. However, as with any surgical procedure, arthroscopic surgery is not appropriate for all patients with knee conditions, just as open-heart surgery is not indicated for all patients with cardiac disease.

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