advances in surgical techniques have been as beneficial as the development
of arthroscopic surgery. An arthroscopic procedure greatly reduces the
"invasiveness" of surgery; it allows a surgeon to make only
a few small incisions instead of one large incision - as is common with
open procedures. A reduction in surgical invasiveness is helpful for many
reasons, one of which is the improvement in recovery time after surgery.
During an arthroscopic procedure, the surgeon inserts the arthroscope through a tiny incision (about 1/4 of an inch) into the joint. Usually the joint is made to slightly distend, or expand through the introduction of fluid that also clears away any blood. If the procedure calls for treatment, other incisions, called portals, are then made to allow the surgical tools to enter the joint. These incisions result in very small scars, which in many cases are unnoticeable after time.
The arthroscope was first used as a diagnostic tool; the name literally translates "to look into a joint," but has since greatly developed in use. With advances in instrumentation and surgical techniques, the arthroscope has become a standard surgical tool as well, used to treat all major joints in the body. The instrument is a small size, only 3 or 4 mm in diameter, yet it incorporates a fiber-optic camera, a light source, a lens and a flexible mounting system.
Samir Fanous, FRCS 18 Antikhana Street, Kasr El Nil, Cairo, EGYPT.
Tel: 202-5780657/5754623, fax: 202-5780657. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
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