During arthroscopy , a lens with an attached fibre optic cable is inserted into the examined joint via a thin tube (diameter 4 mm).
The images from within the joint are transmitted from the video camera to one or several monitors. The surgeon and sometimes also the patient can then view the operation directly on the screen. For joint lavage , a small cannula is usually inserted into the knee or other joint.
A palpating hook or other instruments can be inserted through a small additional opening. The procedure lasts from 20 to 60 minutes (or even longer for cruciate ligament operations , and is carried out under general or local anaesthesia (e.g. epidural).
Arthroscopic operations are primarily carried out on knee and shoulder joints. As experience increases, smaller and narrower joints such as hips, wrists, ankles, elbows, and even finger joints are now also being treated via arthroscopy.
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