Arthroscopy was developed starting around 1919 when the surgeon literally looked through a glass tube to see inside a joint. This allowed visualization of parts of the body that would have required a large incision to see, and with more tissue damage required longer and unnecessary recovery. Over time, new equipment has been developed increasing the visualization of the joint and increasing abilities to perform procedures through less invasive means.
As new technologies have developed, these cameras are now as small as a needle and can be inserted in the body without incisions.
Needle arthroscopy is most commonly used to evaluate the knee joint. A needle arthroscopy procedure of the knee joint is an effort to provide a convenient and effective way to diagnose many common knee problems with fewer risks of surgery.
Needle arthroscopy can be performed in a variety of venues, in the operating room or in the clinic office. The procedure typically takes under an hour to perform. The local anesthesia used is typically a short-acting injectable anesthetic such as lidocaine. The needle scope can be inserted while the patient is awake and aware, giving live images on a digital monitor in real-time.
Conditions treated with arthroscopy include:
- Loose bone fragments
- Damaged or torn cartilage
- Inflamed joint linings
- Torn ligaments
- Scarring within joints
Benefits of Needle Arthroscopy
> Interactive, immediate results
Compared to an MRI which needs to be scheduled (and the results may take some time to return) a needle arthroscopy can be performed immediately, offering immediate answers to the source of knee pain. This may mean fewer trips to the hospital and fewer imaging tests.
The patient and provider are given immediate visualization of the pathology found. This prevents having to undergo repeat imaging, which can be a costly, time-consuming, and inconclusive process.
> Likely to be more accurate than other procedures
MRI does not always accurately detect meniscal tears, the degree of osteoarthritis, or articular cartilage damage. Additionally, MRIs often fail to correlate with a physical examination of the joints.
> May better estimate cartilage damage
MRIs can underestimate the volume of cartilage damage in the setting of articular cartilage defects, a needle arthroscopy may provide your surgeon with more accurate information about the size of a cartilage defect.
> The surgeon can better evaluate your joint movement
Needle arthroscopy (A scope, half the size of a pencil) allows your surgeon to evaluate the knee joint in a dynamic fashion. With the patient awake and aware, this means that your surgeon can have you move the joint while they are looking inside at the structures of the knee. This may be useful in determining the stability of the joint and cartilage within. This type of dynamic evaluation is not possible with routine MRI imaging or while under anesthesia.
Needle arthroscopy can be an option for people who cannot tolerate MRI due to claustrophobia or because they have pacemakers or other metal implants.
What to Expect
During a nanoscope knee arthroscopy, Dr. Hamann will anesthetize your knee with numbing medicine and then he inserts a tiny camera called an arthroscope so he can look around your knee to figure out the source of your pain and problem. The camera displays the inside of the knee on a large monitor.
To treat your knee problem, Dr. Hamann inserts small instruments into the other portals, while using the camera-generated images to help him.
Because there are no incisions, there is less bleeding, pain, and scarring than a traditional open surgery, which requires a larger cut to perform the procedure. There are no sutures needed to remove at follow-up visits, Band-aids and ACE wrap are all that are used.
Depending on the injury, you receive local or regional anesthesia, which means you're still awake, or general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep during the procedure.
Arthroscopic surgeries are outpatient, not requiring overnight hospitalizations, but you still need to rest and follow our directions for recovery.
What's the next step?
The Columbia Orthopaedic Group are focused on innovations like Needle Arthroscopy and Diagnostic Needle Imaging, to improve the patient experience and improve outcomes. Columbia Orthopaedic Group is the first orthopedic practice in Columbia MO to utilize this technology for diagnosing and treating knee injuries. Dr. Josh Hamann is a board-certified Orthopaedic surgeon and has extensive experience performing high-tech surgeries such as needle arthroscopy knee surgery, as well as conventional arthroscopic surgeries.
If you think needle arthroscopy may be a treatment path for you, contact us to schedule an appointment.To make an appointment with Dr. Josh Hamann, click here.
What's Next? Treatment Options...
To find out more about treatment options and specialized care, please call Columbia Orthopaedic Group at (573) 876-8141 and schedule an appointment or request one below:Request an Appointment
We look forward to meeting you!
Columbia Orthopaedic Group
1 South Keene Street
Columbia, Missouri 65201
During your initial consultation, you will have the opportunity to meet our team, learn about our services, and discuss potential treatment options best suited for your needs.