A Scope is A Scope
The advent of the scope has revolutionized the medical field. Surgeries that once left large, unsightly scars with long recovery times has been greatly reduced to several small scars with a much better recovery time. If you think about it, the scopes that are being used for shoulders and knees have the diameter of a pencil. NO, not the huge #2 pencils that you once used in kindergarten. The surgical term used for a scoped procedure of a joint is arthroscope: arthro meaning joint. Like joint implants, the scope technology and skill has worked its way into the foot and ankle.
The ankle is by far the most common joint to be scoped within the foot/ankle complex. Like a knee or shoulder scope, small incisions are made and a scope the size of a pencil is used. Along with the camera, instruments designed for shaving, burring, scraping, and clipping are used for the therapeutic purpose. These tools are also the size of a standard pencil. Depending on what is needed will depend on which tool is to be used. Joint cartilage can be trimmed and smoothed, underlying bone can be drilled, and even internal sutures can be placed.
To be honest, it is almost like playing a video game. The eye and hand coordination takes a little practice in becoming proficient, but once mastered, the scope/tools become a powerful and extremely therapeutic extension of your surgeons hands.
Smaller joints, like the big toe, can also be scoped. These joints are not as often approached in this manner due to the size of the joint.
Many types of joint pathologies can be remedied by the simple use of a lighted tube and camera. When compared to a big open surgical procedure with a long and often more painful recovery, the arthroscopic procedure may be the best course of action.
If you have any need of foot/ankle TLC, please contact Dr. Bowman at at 713-467-8886 or visit www.houstonfootspecialists.com.
Photo Credit: olovedog via FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Tags: Foot Surgery, Invasive, Scope, Surgical Tools