Knee arthroscopy is surgery that is done by making small cuts on your knee and looking inside using a tiny camera. Other medical instruments may also be placed inside to fix your knee.
Recent advances have made arthroscopy an effective tool for correcting many knee problems. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.
Recovery from knee arthroscopy is much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery. Unless you’ve had a ligament reconstruction, you should be able to return to most physical activities after six to eight weeks, maybe even sooner.
Three different types of pain relief (anesthesia) may be used for knee arthroscopy surgery:
A cuff-like device that blows up (inflates) may be used around your thigh to help control bleeding during knee arthroscopy.
The surgeon will make two or three small cuts around your knee. Salt water (saline) will be pumped into your knee to stretch the knee.
A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be placed inside through one of the cuts. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. The surgeon looks at the monitor to see the inside of your knee. In some operating rooms, the patient can also watch the surgery on the monitor, if they want to.
The surgeon will look around your knee for problems. The surgeon may put other medical instruments inside your knee through the other small cuts. The surgeon will then fix or remove the problem in your knee.
At the end of your surgery, the saline will be drained from your knee. The surgeon will close your cuts with sutures (stitches) and cover them with a dressing. Many surgeons take pictures of the procedure from the video monitor so that afterward you can see what was done and what was found.
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:
A consultation with an orthopedic surgeon is the fastest and safest way to assess your need for knee arthroscopy. Request an appointment today.