Irrigation effects

Consequences of the irrigation procedure

During arthroscopy, the joint is flushed with irrigating solution, which washes out the synovial fluid and, therefore, hyaluronan from the joint. This displacement of hyaluronan leads to:

  • loss of viscoelastic properties, shock absorption and lubrication, causing stiffness and pain
  • loss of the protective hyaluronan coating of the cartilage and synovium, leaving these structures open to inflammatory mediators and mechanical damage
  • loss of the masking effect on nociceptors, resulting in increased pain.

In addition, the irrigating solutions used during arthroscopy may have a negative effect on the metabolism of articular cartilage.12-14

The irrigating solutions used during arthroscopy 
impair cartilage metabolism