Using Arthroscopy to Diagnose & Treat Knee Problems

Arthro is joint in Latin. Scopy is view. Arthroscopy is literally to view a joint. The use of arthroscopy allows an orthopedic surgeon to look inside a joint and see what needs to be done. Arthroscopy is very useful in the diagnosis and treatment of problems with the knees.

Modern arthroscopes and high resolution cameras make this hi-tech solution a very effective method for diagnosis and treatment of ailing knees.

The Structure of the Knee

Three bones make up the knee: The femur, the tibia, and the patella. They are cushioned at their juncture by articular cartilage, which allows the bones to work together smoothly.

Synovial membrane is a thin, smooth membrane that coats the interior surfaces of the knee. In a healthy knee, the synovial membrane produces a lubricant that allows the knee to function comfortably and smoothly.

The largest joint in the body, the knee is (as stated) made up of three bones. The upper end of the shin bone, or tibia, supports the lower end of the thigh bone, or femur. There is a groove in the end of the femur that the patella, or kneecap, slides along. Strong ligaments between the femur and tibia support the structure. The thighs large muscle provides strength.

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Problems With the Knees

When knees are healthy, they function smoothly; however, knees take a beating every day. They are used almost constantly as we go about our daily tasks. After a while, the knees become worn by work, sports, injuries, aging, arthritis, and general weakening of the tissues. The result is pain and a general loss of function.

With arthroscopy, a number of conditions can be diagnosed and treated:

Chondromalacia: Softened articular cartilage and/or damaged joint surfaces.

Crystalline arthropathy: Gouty arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflamed synovial membranes.

The patella or kneecap can become unstable or misaligned.

These problems can be located using arthroscopy.

Meniscal cartilage can become torn.

Bone and cartilage can become fragmented and loose.

Posterior and anterior damaged cruciate ligaments can be diagnosed.

Arthroscopy is extremely useful to the orthopedic surgeon in locating and assessing all of these knee problems. The use of the modern technology helps todays orthopedic surgeon deliver efficient and effective treatment.

Dr. Edelson is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Surgeon specializing in sports medicine. His clinic, Sports Medicine Oregon, focuses on athletes of all ages. Click here to learn more about Dr. Edelson, Portland SLAP Repair and Bicep Tears in Portland.