Disposable cannulas are used in many arthroscopic procedures to aid in keeping the site of incision open and accessible. Once a cannula is inserted into the site of incision, other arthroscopic instruments are then passed through the cannula, allowing for enhanced access to the joint being operated on. Their role as an access instrument is mainly in difficult-to-access joints such as shoulder and hip and are not typically used for knee procedures. When disposable cannulas are used in easier-to-access joints like the knee, their function is more for fluid management and distention. The cannulas used in hip arthroscopies tend to be longer to allow for easier access into the hip joint. Several companies offer hip cannulas as part of an access instrumentation kit, which is either sold separately or with a hip arthroscope.
Drill guides are used during the reconstruction of the ACL and PCL. As the name implies, these devices are used for properly aligning the drill bit for the precise creation of tunnels and holes in boney surfaces. The knee is one of the most susceptible joints to pressure and injury in the human body, as its bending capacity is determined by a complex interaction of rotational and extensional movements. The anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL/PCL) connect the bones that form the knee and stabilize joint movements to prevent the femur from sliding against the tibia and vice versa.
Injuries to the ACL are quite common. These injuries can be caused by excessive use, physical impact or wear over time. Usually, during ACL/PCL reconstruction, the surgeon drills holes in the tibia in order to hold harvested patellar tendon with fixation devices such as staples and screws, thus reconstructing the ligament.
The full report suite on the U.S. market for arthroscopic devices includes arthroscopes, disposable cannulas, hand instruments, fluid management disposables, shaver blades, radiofrequency (RF) probes, drill guide systems and disposables and suture passers. Power instruments are covered in an appendix.