Can knee fractures be fixed arthroscopically?
Yes, some knee fractures can be treated arthroscopically. The most common type of such injury is a small piece of bone attached to a ligament like the ACL or PCL, which is suddenly chipped off due to injury. The arthroscope provides an excellent view of such small fractures that may be difficult to manage in conventional open surgery.
What is arthroscopic assisted fixation?
There are some fractures in which the joint is also damaged. Even though we have a machine called the C-arm which allowsus to fix these injuries under X ray control, better 3 dimensional views is seen with the arthroscope & accuracy down to millimeters is obtained.
Why is it important to fix these tiny fractures?
These fractures look small & trivial on the X ray, but their importance lies in the fact that one of the major knee ligaments is attached to them. If seen on the MRI they look much bigger & much more sinister. Unlike fractures outside the joint, these fractures have a tendency not to unite & lead to knee arthritis due to persistent knee instability
SCREW VERSUS THREAD
For most orthopedic injuries, we like to use hardware like plates, nails & screws. However for this special set of injuries we prefer to use strong threads to tie the fracture to the bone, over a button. This type of fixation offers sufficient rigidity to start knee movements & walking immediately after the operation.