Arthroscopy of the knee

Introduction

Knee arthroscopy is a surgical technique that can diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. During the procedure, your surgeon will make a very small incision and insert a tiny camera — called an arthroscope— into your knee

This allows them to view the inside of the joint on a screen. The surgeon can then investigate a problem with the knee and, if necessary, correct the issue using small instruments within the arthroscope

arthroscopy of the knee.

Arthroscopy diagnoses several knee problems, such as a torn meniscus or a misaligned patella (kneecap). It can also repair the ligaments of the joint. There are limited risks to the procedure and the outlook is good for most patients. Your recovery time and prognosis will depend on the severity of the knee problem and the complexity of the required procedure.

Indication

Your doctor may recommend that you undergo a knee arthroscopy if you’re experiencing knee pain. Your doctor might have already diagnosed the condition causing your pain, or they may order the arthroscopy to help find a diagnosis. In either case, an arthroscopy is a useful way for doctors to confirm the source of knee pain and treat the problem.
Arthroscopic surgery can diagnose and treat knee injuries, including:

  • torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments
  • torn meniscus (the cartilage between the bones in the knee)
  • patella that’s out of position
  • pieckes of torn cartilage that are loose in the joint
  • removal of a Baker’s cyst
  • fractures in the knee bones
  • swollen synovium (the lining in the joint)

Preparation

Your doctor or surgeon will advise you how to prepare for your surgery. Be sure to tell them about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements that you’re currently taking. You may need to stop taking certain medicines, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for days before the procedure.

You must also refrain from eating or drinking for six hours before the surgery. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe you a pain medication for any discomfort you experience after the surgery.

Operation

You will get an anesthetic before your knee arthroscopy. This may be:

  • regional (numbs you from the waist down)
  • general (puts you completely to sleep)

If you’re awake, you may be able to watch the procedure on a monitor.

The surgeon will begin by making a few small incisions, or cuts, in your knee. Sterile salt water, or saline, will then pump in to expand your knee. This makes it easier for the surgeon to see inside the joint. The arthroscope enters one of the cuts and the surgeon will look around in your joint using the attached camera. The surgeon can see the images produced by the camera on the monitor in the operating room.

When the surgeon locates the problem in your knee, they may then insert small tools into the incisions to correct the issue. After the surgery, the surgeon drains the saline from your joint and closes your cuts with stitches or with band-aids