Introduction: Articular cartilage is vulnerable to irreversible traumatic injury and degenerative disease. Debridement of damaged articular cartilage is a common arthroscopic procedure performed. Its use is not without controversy. Our aim of the study is to assess the value of arthroscopic debridement of degenerative arthritis of the knee joint.
Methods: 23 patients were conducted between December 2019 and November 2022 in Basrah General Hospital. All patients were subjected to radiological examination standard anteroposterior, lateral view, and special view (skyline view). MRI was done on all patients. All patients were followed up clinically by Lysholm Scoring. A standard arthroscopic procedure was done. Procedures included lavage, meniscectomy, and removal of detached fragments of articular cartilage. Only ACL reconstruction was done in one case. Postoperative management, dressing with a compression bandage and ice packs, and antibiotics. Two groups of patients, were Group 1( under 40 years), 18 patients, and Group 2(above 40 years), 5 patients. Secondary degeneration is more than primary degeneration.
Results: Males were 17 and females were 6. The medial condyle was more prone to degeneration because more subjected to stress load, meniscal injury was the common intra-articular structure injured associated with articular cartilage damage, especially the medial meniscus. There was excellent control of pain and improved function in 78.3% were under 40 years with traumatic causes in grades 2 and 3 than in those with traumatic causes (21.7%) in grades 4.
Conclusion: Arthroscopic debridement is a temporizing procedure with good patient satisfaction. The complication after articular cartilage debridement are rare and mimic those following diagnostic arthroscopy.