What is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to view the knee joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues. arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems.
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During knee arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small camera, called an arthroscope, into your knee joint. The camera displays pictures on a video monitor, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.
This results in less pain for patients, less joint stiffness, and often shortens the time it takes to recover and return to favorite activities.
During arthroscopy, your surgeon can see the structures of your knee in great detail on a video monitor.
When Knee Arthroscopy is recommended?
Your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to non-surgical treatment such as rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.
Knee Arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the cartilage surfaces and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.
Common arthroscopic procedures for the knee include:
- - Removal or repair of a torn meniscus
- - Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
- - Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
- - Trimming or reconstruction of damaged articular cartilage
- - Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage, like those caused by synovial chondromatosis
- - Treatment of patella (kneecap) problems
- - Treatment of knee sepsis (infection)
What You Should Know About Surgery?
The surgery begins with an examination of your knee while you are asleep.
This allows for testing of your knee ligaments to make sure they are stable without the resistance of your muscles.
Examination under Anesthesia
- - A Camera is inserted into your knee thru a tiny poke hole in the front of your knee called a portal.
- - The doctor moves the camera around your joint while looking at a monitor.
- - A Complete inventory of your knee will be performed looking at all the structures inside your joint
- - A Second portal is created for the insertion of working instruments.
- - Usually, only two portals are necessary, but occasionally additional portals are needed to get the job done effectively.
How long is rehab after knee arthroscopy?
- - Usually, you can go home the same day.
- - Ice and elevate your leg as much as possible for the first 72 hours.
- - You may or may not have a brace depending on what surgery was done.
- - Your doctor will tell you how much weight you can put on your leg.
What about Physical Therapy?
- - The amount of physical therapy that you will need depends on what was done in the surgery.
- - The rehab is quite different for different arthroscopic knee surgeries.
- - Please make sure you understand the expected rehab goals.
- - Physical therapy is very important in optimizing your outcome.
- - Your therapist will give you a home exercise program that should be done every day.
When can I get back to work after knee arthroscopy?
- - A desk job - 3-5 days
- - Prolonged standing or heavy lifting - usually about a month
- - This is highly variable depending on surgery and rehab and most importantly what kind of work you do or what sport you play.
- - Sometimes the recovery is shorter or longer than expected but often can be estimated before surgery.