Recent basic science studies (5) have provided a scientific
foundation for the use of the Contact Nd:YAG Laser as an
arthroscopic tool for xneniscal resection and acroxnioplasty of the
shoulder in a saline medium.
This study prospectively evaluates the results of a three
stage laboratory investigation as well as the clinical results of
arthroscopic xneniscal resection.
Fifteen patients with meniscal tears underwent subtotal
meniscectomies utilizing a Contact Nd:YAG Laser (Surgical Laser
Technologies; Malvern, Pennsylvania) . This was done in a saline
medium with an average laser wattage of 25 W, (range 20 W to 30
Patients were evaluated postoperatively with reference to
subjective and objective parameters at one week and four weeks
postoperatively. Patients were evaluated with regard to wound
healing, intraarticular swelling and pain. Assessment of
technical parameters such as ease of resection, time of resection
and instrument access were compared to conventional instruments.
All fifteen patients were rated as having clinically
excellent results based on pain relief, wound healing and
swelling. In addition, although there was increased time with
setting up the laser and calibrating it, there was not an
increase in time for meniscal resection. Little, or no,
secondary "trimmuning" was necessary with the laser. Increased
accessibility was noted due to the small size of the laser.
Arthroscopic Contact Nd:YAG Laser surgery is a safe and
effective tool for menisca]. resection and coagulation in
arthroscopic acromioplasties. It provides significant advantages
over conventional cutting instruments with regard to
accessibility and reduced need for secondary instruments.