Joint Keyhole Surgery - Arthroscopy
Keyhole Surgery of a joint, or Arthroscopy, is an advanced surgical technique with very reduced recovery time.
Surgery should be the last option for the treatment of certain medical problems. Having been introduce in the 1960th, keyhole surgery techniques developed dramatically in the last decades. From being just visualizing diagnostic tool to allowing sophisticated procedures like removal of the gall bladder or ovary to cleaning and/ or repairing damaged parts inside a joint.
Out of 20 arthroscopies performed by orthopaedic surgeon, 17 of these a done on a knee joint, and two are done on a shoulder. The other joints that are frequently arthroscopically examined and treated are the hip and ankle, followed by the elbow and wrist.
Key hole surgery on a joint can be technically demanding and has a rather long learning curve due to the circumstances that the surgeon is looking straight ahead on a television screen, meanwhile his/her hands are using arthroscopic instruments pointing in a different direction. The surgeon also has to get use to the fact that the pictures visualized on the screen is magnified 2,5 fold.
Once the medical examine, radiographic or even magnetic resonance images have confirmed that there might be some medical problem, degenerative changes or damage following an accident inside the joints, keyhole surgery would be indicated. The typical arthroscopy on a knee joint takes about 45 minutes. It is usually performed under general anaesthetics, but could be performed under spinal anaesthetics (epidural). For arthroscopy of the knee and ankle orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Alf Neuhaus would apply a tourniquet (like a blood pressure cuff) around the thigh, which he would inflate to stop the blood flow into the leg in case the bleeding inside the joint would jeopardizes visibility. Two small, about half an inch long cuts are made as portals for the camera and the instrument. The camera has the size of a pencil and is equipped with a light source and a magnifying lens. The colored pictures are directly transferred by a cable to a television screen.
Nowadays there a many different arthroscopic instruments available, like scissors, forceps, shavers, suturing devices and other. The equipment allows not just cleaning the joint out from any debris, but also repair damaged parts. The surgery would be performed as a day case procedure, allowing you to go home the same day. In case of a hip/ knee/ or ankle arthroscopy you would be using two crutches, fully weight bearing through the operated leg. Orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Alf Neuhaus would do all follow ups for wound care and suture removal in his out-patient clinic Clinica SANDALF. You should be back to normal daily activities, including driving a car, within 5-7 days, and back to sports activities within 2 – 3 weeks.
If you are a UK- citizen you are entitled to a refund of the costs for the surgery by the UK NHS of up to 80%. Our team would be very happy to assist you with the paper work. Please be aware that it is yet not clear if this NHS support would still be available after the Brexit.
Please get in touch to find out more regarding arthroscopy and NHS funding.
The private hospital used by UK-trained orthopaedic and trauma surgeon Dr. Alf Neuhaus is about 10 minutes’ drive away from his out- patient clinic Clinica SANDALF. This modern and fully equipped private hospital has all facilities needed, 4 state of the art operating theatres, intensive care unit and 24h on-call medical staff and physicians. All rooms are equipped with TV (Spanish, English, German), WiFi and an on-suite bathroom.
The friendly and helpful staff speaks English, and orthopaedic surgeon Dr. Alf Neuhaus and his UK-trained physiotherapists will come in every day of your stay to look after you (wound control, pain medication, arranging further tests if needed, joint mobilization, etc.). Further follow ups for wound control, suture removal, further investigations like X-rays, joint mobilization and other will be performed using the clinic facilities following hospital discharge.
Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us should you have any further questions or to make an appointment.