By CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (CBS4)– A scope, half the size of a pencil, is helping orthopedic surgeons treat patients without putting them to sleep. The NanoScope system allows them to diagnose problems and even operate without incisions. In some cases, procedures can be done right in the doctor’s office.

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Meghan McKenna, 32, had a NanoScope procedure to diagnose a knee problem that bothered her for nearly a year.

“Stabbing knee pain, especially when I’d go upstairs, my left knee would buckle,” Meghan told CBS4 Health Specialist Kathy Walsh.

Meghan consulted orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rachel Frank at UCHealth.

“Essentially what Meghan has is a cartilage defect with bone bruising,” Dr. Frank explained.

In order to know for sure, the knee would need to be scoped.

“I didn’t want to do anesthesia if I didn’t need it,” Meghan said.

Meghan was offered the NanoScope.

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“It’s quite a simple procedure,” said Frank, Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Colorado School of Medicine.

The NanoScope is minimally invasive technology, half the size of a traditional arthroscope.

With Meghan awake in the doctor’s office, Frank injected a numbing solution in Meghan’s knee.

Without making an incision, the tiny camera was inserted. Both could see the problem on a monitor.

“It kind of looked like a boiled egg when you pull the shell off poorly,” said Meghan.

“It’s as good as if I’m in the operating room looking at it with a formal arthroscopy,” said Frank.

Meghan walked out of the office with a firm diagnosis and two band aids.

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“I was back up mowing my lawn 2 days later,” she said.

And she had the bone and cartilage transplant with Frank at UCHealth Steadman Hawkins Clinic less than 4 weeks later.

Frank is the first in Colorado to use the NanoScope. She has started a study to see just how effective it is compared with a traditional scope.

Frank is a consultant for Arthrex, the makers of NanoScope.

Kathy Walsh

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