Surgery is often the last treatment option in certain medical problems. In the past this procedure included major surgery, resulting in an unsightly scar and a prolonged post-operative and rehabilitation.
The origin of minimally invasive surgery
In 1960 the techniques of minimally invasive surgery began to be developed, although in its beginnings it was only used to find or confirm the diagnosis. It was later seen that this technique was not only useful for observing, but also for solving medical issues such as cleaning or repairing damaged structures.
Currently, minimally invasive surgery is used in a multitude of surgeries. For example, in abdominal surgery is used to extract the appendix, in Gynecology is used for the extraction of small tumors in the ovaries, or in cardiac surgery allows to guide the catheters through the heart to observe and clean the arteries.
Minimally invasive orthopedic surgery
In Orthopedic Surgery and Traumatology , minimally invasive surgery is used in various joints and is known as arthroscopy (from the Greek artros = articulation and copy = image). Statistically, of 20 arthroscopies performed in Traumatology and Orthopedic Surgery, 17 are performed in the knee and 2 in the shoulder. The other joints that use arthroscopy are the elbow, the wrist, the hip and the ankle.
Knee arthroscopy procedure and post-operative
Joint arthroscopy involves the surgeon observing the area on a television screen while using the arthroscopy instruments in the desired direction.
Once the medical examination, X-ray, or MRI have confirmed that there may be a medical problem, degenerative process, or injury or accident damage to the joint, minimally invasive surgery may be prescribed.
In general, a knee arthroscopy lasts about 45 minutes, and is usually performed under general anesthesia, although it can also be done with an epidural .
In the intervention a tourniquet is made around the thigh to stop the blood flow in the leg and thus improve the visibility in the joint. Then the surgeon makes two small cuts on the sides of the knee to introduce the camera on one side and the surgical tools (scissors, forceps, blades, suture tools, etc.) on the other side. The camera has the measurement of a pencil and is equipped with a light and magnifying glasses, to achieve the best image, which the surgeon will see in real time on a television.
Knee arthroscopy not only cleans the knee but also repairs damage to the meniscus, replenishes the cartilage and even repairs the anterior cruciate ligament.
Except for the intervention in the anterior cruciate ligament, the other surgeries with arthroscopy allow the patient to be discharged on the same day of the operation, carrying crutches. On the other hand, the points of the two incisions made can be withdrawn within 10 days of the intervention, fully recovering the patient's normal life walking, swimming, driving and even practicing sports 10 to 14 days after arthroscopy.