Arthroscopic Procedures  
Comprehensive Arthroscopic procedures Resource Directory and Information Network

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Arthroscopic procedures (also called arthroscopic surgery) refer to minimally invasive surgical techniques in which the examination, monitoring and treatment of a damaged joint is performed with an arthroscope – a flexible fiberoptic scope about the diameter of a drinking straw fitted with a miniature camera, a light source and precision tools (in spine an shoulder arthroscopy. a laser is often used). Arthroscopic procedures can be performed to treat such orthopaedic conditions as those resulting from torn floating cartilage, torn surface cartilage, and ACL reconstruction. Arthroscopic procedures will also be used to trim damaged cartilage.

The advantage of arthroscopy over traditional open surgery lies in its minimally-invasive character. Thus, the joint undergoing an arthroscopic procedure does not have to be fully opened up in order for it to be worked on. Instead, and using knee arthroscopy as an example, only two small incisions are required -- one for the arthroscope and the other for the surgical instruments used to remove the knee cap. This less radical surgery significantly reduces the patient's recovery time and may also benefit rates of surgical success due to the reduced trauma it inflicts on connective tissue. Arthroscopic procedures are especially useful to professional athletes, who frequently injure their knee joints and must heal quickly. While it is technically possible to do an arthroscopic examination of nearly every joint in the human body, the joints that arthroscopy is most often used to examine, monitor and mend are the knee, shoulder, elbow, wrist, ankle, foot and hip. 

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