Debridement (Clean up)
Arthroscopic minimally invasive techniques are used to clean up and remove debris left behind by the arthritic process. This debris includes pieces of torn meniscus, bone spurs, and broken pieces of articular cartilage.
Arthroscopy of the knee is typically performed using a fiber-optic scope, an in-flow cannula, and a variety of instruments. The debridement of damaged cartilage may relieve mechanical (locking) symptoms due to unstable cartilage flaps and it may decrease inflammation within the joint induced by cartilage debris.
Many patients will benefit from an arthroscopic debridement, although, it is important to understand that during this procedure, damaged cartilage is not being repaired or replaced with new cartilage. Other techniques such as micro-fracture and cartilage transplant surgery are often utilized for full thickness cartilage defects.