Without these fine gentlemen’s hardwork and dedication to pioneering and continually developing arthroscopy, we wouldn’t be able to perform arthroscopic shoulder surgery for you here in Columbus. Our work today relies on the work of the past. These scientific giants’ discoveries and innovations allow us to see inside a living joint – which is the meaning of the word arthroscopy.
If you were able to go back in time to the early 1900s, you would find scientists pioneering into arthroscopy. Through much research and practice, Takagi arthroscopically examined a knee joint. He was able to perform his first arthroscopies using a 7.3mm cystoscope on a cadaverous body – this size of cystoscope is too large for a living joint to handle. Takagi was so enthralled in the data available to him by using arthroscopy that he dedicated his entire life to this field.
Bircher was the first man to report on arthroscopy – in the 1920s – for diagnostic purposes regarding knee injuries. He would use arthroscopy to examine the knee to identify the exact problem and would then perform traditional knee surgery. Bircher only worked with arthroscopy for a short period – just over a decade – before moving on. At the time, his work was largely undetected, but today it offers much value and insight to arthroscopic inspection.
Japanese surgeon, Masaki Watanabe, is considered the inventor of interventional surgery using arthroscopy when he used the arthroscopic technique (developed by Drs. Richard O’Connor and Heshmat Shahriaree) to inspect and surgically repair a knee. Prior to Watanabe’s surgical application, arthroscopy had been used to simply inspect a joint.
While Takagi, Bircher, and Watanabe are not the only scientists in our history to work with arthroscopy, it is clear that they had a significant role. What’s even more impressive is the application of an arthroscopic inspection or surgery to any joint in the body. Dr. Thomas Kovack is proud to continue this trend of continuous arthroscopic innovation, focusing on arthroscopic shoulder surgery.