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Have you ever wondered why the incidence of joint pain has increased in the past few decades? Most of you may think that it is because of age-related wear and tear, a traumatic injury or an underlying medical condition, however, these used to prevail earlier as well. So what has really changed over the years, that has made our joints so vulnerable to degeneration and pain?

The answer is simple - Your lifestyle

Earlier, life was not as convenient as it is today. Most of the physical work was done using manual power. People usually travelled by foot or used cycles and hardly anyone had a fuel-driven vehicle. There were no elevators and lifts and women had to travel miles carrying water. People didn't need to exercise as they were always engaged in one physical activity or the other, and this is what helped to keep their joints healthy.

Gradually, as we made progress in the field of technology, machines started to replace humans, and work became much easier. Although these are all signs of advancement, we have become entirely dependent on technology and the same has promoted a sedentary lifestyle and problems like obesity. All these changes have made our joints more vulnerable to pain and increased the rate of wear and tear.

As technology is progressing, so is medical science. To tackle the increasing incidence of joint pain and degeneration, a minimally invasive modality was invented, that allowed doctors to diagnose, assess and treat joint problems that are responsible for causing pain. Commonly referred to as arthroscopy, the procedure has gained immense momentum over the years and is offered at the leading orthopaedics hospital in Pune.

Arthroscopy and how it works

Arthroscopy is quite different from conventional surgery as it uses a minimally invasive approach for addressing a joint problem. It is pertinent to understand that the procedure cannot be used to treat all kinds of joint issues, but only specific ones, predominantly depending upon the extent of the damage. Experts specializing in knee and hip replacement in Mumbai suggest that arthroscopy is also used for fixing loose fragments of bones and treating inflammation. It forms an essential part of sports medicine and can be used in the effective management of sports injuries like rotator cuff tears, ACL tears, meniscal injuries and labral tears.

Now, you must be wondering how this phenomenal procedure works?

The term arthroscopy, itself, is derived from the name of the instrument that is used to perform the procedure. An arthroscope is a tiny tube with a light source and a small surgical camera fitted on one of its ends. The camera is connected to a monitor that allows the surgeon to view the enlarged images of the concerned area. If the doctor feels the need to address the problem immediately, special surgical tools will be introduced along with the arthroscope to treat the problem using detailed imaging guidance.

  • The procedure is carried out while you are under the influence of anaesthesia. The type of anaesthesia that will be used depends upon the problem that is to be addressed as, well as the extent of damage to the joints. Doctors may either use general anaesthesia or spinal anaesthesia.
  • Once you are properly sedated, the surgical site will be prepared and a tiny, keyhole incision will be made to introduce the arthroscope. It will help to generate enlarged images of the affected joints, thereby allowing the doctors to perform the procedure with added precision and accuracy.
  • The surgical instruments are introduced by making more keyhole incisions (2 - 3) and the problem is treated carefully. If there are any loose joint fragments, they will be extracted.
  • Once done, the doctors will remove the instruments and the arthroscope and close the incision.

As the procedure is minimally invasive, you do not require a long hospital stay and the time taken for recovery is also comparatively shorter. You, however, should go for regular assessment to make sure that your doctor is well aware of your prognosis. To know more about arthroscopy, consult experts from the best orthopaedics hospital in Mumbai.