Millions of Americans deal with the discomfort of arthritis every day. While the most common form of arthritis is osteoarthritis, many other types affect people as well. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative disease that affects the joints, causing the soft cartilage to wear down gradually. One of the treatments for osteoarthritis in the knee is a chondroplasty. Chondroplasty is used to repair torn or worn cartilage, making it function properly once again. In the knee joint, this cartilage is known as articular cartilage, and it is often more prone to wear and tear than is the cartilage found between most of the other joints of the body. Moreover, because articular cartilage has a very low or nonexistent blood supply, it can be difficult for the body to repair this itself. A chondroplasty can use surgery to make the needed repairs. Arthroscopic chondroplasty is a type of chondroplasty that is done though very small incisions using tiny instruments.
Arthroscopic chondroplasty can be easier to recover from and typically leaves far fewer incisional scars than traditional surgeries do. It is often used along with knee arthroscopy during which the surgeon will be able to repair issues with the knee joint and patella. During this procedure, the surgeon will insert a tiny camera into one of the incisions to be able to see the knee joint, the cartilage and other tissues. This will help him more thoroughly diagnose and treat painful degenerative conditions of the knee.
Arthroscopic chondroplasty is generally performed as an outpatient surgery. It is not usually a long surgery, and patients typically recover well after it. Complications are generally mild. Physical therapy may be utilized to reduce any problems and to improve movement in the affected knee. However, most people are able to go back to their usual activities after only days of recovery.
Following an arthroscopic chondroplasty, you will find that walking and other knee movements become far more comfortable than they were before. Therefore, this procedure may be right for you if you have degenerative arthritis of the knee joints, if you are experiencing a decreased quality of life due to knee pain or lack of movement and if you are approved for a less invasive procedure than open knee surgery.