Knee arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera called an arthroscope to look inside your knee. Small cuts are made to insert the camera and small surgical tools into your knee for the procedure.
Knee arthroscopy can be done to investigate and/or correct the problems of the knee
The arthroscope allows doctors to inspect the joint for damage. As the procedure requires very small cuts in the skin, it gives arthroscopy some advantages over more invasive surgeries.
Knee arthroscopy surgery has recently gained popularity because it usually requires shorter recovery times. The procedure typically takes less than 1 hour, and serious complications are uncommon.
Knee arthroscopy is less invasive than open forms of surgery. We can diagnose issues and operate using a very small tool, an arthroscope, which they pass through an incision in the skin.
Knee arthroscopy surgery may be helpful in diagnosing a range of problems, including:
In most of these cases, arthroscopy is all that is needed. People may choose it instead of other surgical procedures because arthroscopy often involves:
However, arthroscopy may not be for everyone. There is little evidence that people with degenerative diseases or osteoarthritis can benefit from knee arthroscopy.
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:
Exercise: We recommend a tailored preparation plan, which includes gentle exercises.
Medications: You may need to stop taking some medications ahead of the surgery. It is important for a person to discuss the medications that the patient is taking especially Ibuprofen or other painkillers. We may prescribe a few medications before the initiation of Surgery
Diet / Food: You need to stop eating up to 12 hours before the procedure, especially if they will be general anaesthesia (Very Rare). We provide more information about what a person is allowed to eat or drink.
We use anaesthetic to numb the pain and the type will depend on the extent of the arthroscopy.
A local anaesthetic may be used to numb the affected knee only. If both knees are affected, we may use a regional anaesthetic to numb from the waist down.
You are awake during this procedure and may also see the procedure on the screen. This is entirely optional as some people may not be comfortable viewing this.
In some rare cases, we use a general anaesthetic. In this case, you will be completely asleep during the procedure.
Like any surgery, knee arthroscopy poses some risks, though serious complications are uncommon.
A person has an increased risk of infection and excessive bleeding during and after the surgery.
The use of anesthesia also comes with risks. In some people, it may cause allergic reactions or breathing difficulties.
Some risks are specific to knee arthroscopy. They include:
These risks are uncommon, and most people recover without incident.
Recovering from arthroscopy is usually quicker than recovering from open surgery. Most people leave the hospital on the day of the operation with specific instructions about how to handle recovery.
A person may be able to return to light activity in 1–3 weeks and resume most other physical activities in 6–8 weeks..
General recovery tips can include:
Before and after knee arthroscopy surgery, exercises can help. Working with a physical therapist to strengthen the muscles around the knee may help the knee to fully recover.
Doctors may also teach a person some simple stretches and exercises to do at home.
Exercises are a crucial part of treatment. They are needed to restore the knee’s full strength and range of motion.
The choice of exercises will depend on the extent of the problem and a person’s overall condition. It is essential to speak with a doctor or physical therapist before trying exercises at home.
Full recovery after knee arthroscopy will depend on what type of problem was treated.
Problems such as a torn meniscus, broken cartilage, Baker cyst, and problems with the synovium are often easily fixed. Many people stay active after these surgeries.
Recovery from simple procedures is fast in most cases. You may need to use crutches for a while after some types of surgery. Your provider may also prescribe pain medicine.
Recovery will take longer if you have had a more complex procedure. If parts of your knee have been repaired or rebuilt, you may not be able to walk without crutches or a knee brace for several weeks. Full recovery may take several months to a year.
If you also have arthritis in your knee, you will still have arthritis symptoms after surgery to repair other damage to your knee.