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Nanoarthroscopy
Dr. James Chen, M.D. - In San Francisco, CA



DR. CHEN’S SURGICAL TECHNIQUE FOR Nanoarthroscopy of the knee:


Nanoarthroscopy is the newest arthroscopic technology that uses a 1.9 mm diameter needle camera system that provides direct-image guided visualization of a joint such as the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow or wrist. The joint can be visualized without incisions using a needle with a camera “chip-on-tip”. Nanoarthroscopy is an alternative to MRI imaging or surgical visualization and may be used to diagnose joint injuries such as cartilage, meniscus, or ligament damage. As a “second look” procedure it can evaluate the progress of a cartilage transplant, meniscus repair, ACL reconstruction, labral repair, or rotator cuff repair. General anesthesia is not required and the patient is awake with local numbing anesthesia applied to the joint. Nanoarthroscopy can be performed in-office or in a surgical suite. It allows same day outpatient diagnosis and treatment.

Common Questions about Nanoarthroscopy

What is the difference between Nanoarthroscopy and traditional surgical arthroscopy?

The Nanoscope is 1.9 mm in diameter and is inserted through a needle cannula without incisions. It has a “chip-on-tip” meaning the camera is on the needle itself. Traditional surgical arthroscopy uses a 4.5 mm camera in diameter, requires incisions, and requires the patient be asleep under general anesthesia. Traditional surgical arthroscopy is itself considered “minimally invasive,” however nanoarthroscopy technology takes this to the next level allowing the patient to be awake and procedures to be performed without incisions.

Do I need to undergo general anesthesia?

Nanoarthroscopy performed in the office or surgical suite does not require general anesthesia. The patient is awake and the joint is numbed with local anesthesia.

Are incisions made?

No, incisions are made as the nanscope is a “chip-on-tip” of a needle.

Is Nanoarthroscopy considered surgery?

Nanoarthroscopy is a procedure that can be performed in the office or in a surgical suite. It is not considered full surgery since no incisions are made and there is no general anesthesia to the patient.

What procedures can be done with a nanoscope?

Nanoarthroscopy may be performed in the knee, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and wrist for direct visualization to diagnose joint injuries such as cartilage, meniscus, or ligament damage. As a “second look” procedure it can evaluate the progress of a cartilage transplant, meniscus repair, ACL reconstruction, labral repair, or rotator cuff repair. Simple procedures such as partial meniscectomy, debridement, and loose bodies removal may be performed. Nanoarthroscopy can also be used as an adjust for additional visualization during surgery.

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