What Is Arthrotomy?

Are you curious to know what is arthrotomy? You have come to the right place as I am going to tell you everything about arthrotomy in a very simple explanation. Without further discussion let’s begin to know what is arthrotomy?

The term “arthrotomy” may sound complex and intimidating, but it refers to a medical procedure that can significantly improve the quality of life for individuals dealing with various joint-related conditions. Arthrotomy is a surgical procedure that involves the careful opening of a joint, enabling healthcare professionals to diagnose and treat a range of joint-related issues. In this blog post, we’ll explore the world of arthrotomy, its applications, and the conditions it addresses.

What Is Arthrotomy?

Arthrotomy is a surgical procedure that involves the surgical opening of a joint. It provides direct access to the joint’s interior, allowing healthcare professionals to diagnose, treat, and manage various conditions affecting the joint. This procedure is usually performed under anesthesia to ensure the patient’s comfort and to minimize pain during and after the surgery.

Common Reasons For Arthrotomy

Arthrotomy may be performed for a variety of diagnostic and therapeutic reasons. Some common scenarios that may necessitate arthrotomy include:

  1. Joint Trauma: Arthrotomy is used to assess and repair damage resulting from traumatic injuries, such as fractures, dislocations, or severe soft tissue damage within a joint.
  2. Joint Infection: In cases of suspected or confirmed joint infections, arthrotomy provides access to the joint space, allowing healthcare professionals to clean, drain, or treat the infection.
  3. Biopsy and Tumor Removal: To diagnose and treat joint tumors or unusual growths, healthcare providers may perform an arthrotomy to access the affected area and obtain tissue samples for examination.
  4. Articular Cartilage Damage: In instances of significant damage to the articular cartilage within a joint, an arthrotomy may be performed to address and repair the affected area.
  5. Ligament and Tendon Repair: Arthrotomy can also be employed for the surgical repair of damaged ligaments and tendons within the joint.

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The Arthrotomy Procedure

The specific steps of an arthrotomy procedure may vary depending on the joint involved and the reason for the surgery. However, there are general steps involved in most arthrotomies:

  1. Anesthesia: The patient is administered anesthesia to ensure they remain comfortable and pain-free throughout the procedure.
  2. Incision: A surgical incision is made over the joint area, providing access to the joint space. The size and location of the incision depend on the joint being treated.
  3. Joint Examination: Once the joint is opened, the surgeon examines the joint’s interior to assess the extent of the damage, infection, or other issues.
  4. Treatment or Repair: Depending on the findings, the surgeon may proceed to clean, repair, or remove damaged tissue, tumors, or foreign bodies within the joint.
  5. Closure: After the necessary repairs or treatments have been performed, the joint is carefully closed using sutures or staples.
  6. Recovery and Rehabilitation: Post-surgery, the patient undergoes a recovery and rehabilitation process to regain joint function and mobility. Physical therapy and pain management may be involved.


Arthrotomy is a surgical procedure that plays a vital role in the diagnosis and treatment of various joint-related conditions. It offers an effective means to access and address issues within the joint space, promoting healing, pain relief, and improved joint function. While it is a surgical procedure, arthrotomy is often performed with the patient’s well-being and long-term joint health in mind, making it a valuable tool in the field of orthopedic medicine.


What Does Arthrotomy Mean In Medical Terms?

n. the surgical opening of any joint. It is performed to allow joint inspection, removal of a loose body, drainage of pus (from an infected joint) or of a haematoma, synovectomy, joint reconstruction, or joint replacement. From: arthrotomy in Concise Medical Dictionary »

What Is Arthrotomy Used For?

Arthrotomy. An arthrotomy is a surgical exploration of a joint, which should include inspection of the cartilage, intra-articular structures, joint capsule, and ligaments.

What Is Arthrotomy Vs Arthroscopy?

Hence, arthrotomy is when a surgeon cuts open a joint and looks inside with their naked eye. Conversely, arthroscopy is when a small incision (about 3-5 mm) is made and a camera (scope) is inserted into the joint and the image is projected onto a screen (“arthro” means joint and “scopy” means using a scope).

How Do You Perform An Arthrotomy?

For a medial arthrotomy, the skin incision can be short. As the arthrotomy approaches the anterior horn of the medial meniscus, the dissection is taken laterally, anterior to the coronary ligament, to avoid derangement of the medial meniscus. The patella is subluxed or everted and the knee flexed.

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