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Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Knee arthroscopies are emerging as a popular option amongst orthopedic procedures especially for knee injuries. Following the recent advances in arthroscopy since late 1960s, millions of people opt for it every year for quicker rehabilitation.
Dr. Maisie M
Last Updated: Feb 10, 2018
A lot many musculoskeletal problems related to the knee can be diagnosed with history taking and joint examination. Laboratory investigations like knee aspiration, X-rays, MRI, CT scan can further help in better diagnosis. Arthroscopy would be the last rescue in difficult to diagnose conditions or for therapeutic purpose.
What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
Arthroscopic surgery is a procedure wherein the inside of the knee joint is visualized with an endoscope for diagnosis and treatment. The word "Arthroscopy" in Greek means (skopein) looking within the joint (arthro).
Arthroscopic knee surgery is helpful for diagnosing the following conditions
  • Arthritis especially mono-arthritis
  • Inflammation of synovial membrane
  • Gouty arthritis
  • Joint infections
Arthroscopy is of therapeutic importance in following impairments
  • Repair of torn cartilage or other tissues
  • Treating locked knee
  • Correcting knee dislocations
  • Lose bony fragments inside the knee interfering with mobility
  • Patella-femoral syndrome
  • Bakers' cyst or popliteal cyst
  • Knee Tendonitis
  • Pain management in osteoarthritis
How is Knee Arthroscopy performed?
Arthroscopy is performed through two tiny incisions on the knee joint, one for the scope equipped with a tiny video camera and the other for injecting sterile fluid into the joint. The surgeon can clearly visualize the type of joint damage on a monitor and perform surgery with specialized instruments into the afflicted structures of the knee.
What are the Advantages of Arthroscopy?
  • Surgery takes less than an hour.
  • Surgery can be performed through a considerably smaller incision.
  • Less pain, stiffness and low scarring.
  • Helps in accurate diagnosis besides being minimally invasive.
  • Quicker recovery than conventional surgeries.
  • Minimal hospitalization is necessary and the patient can be discharged within a day depending upon the complexity of disease.
Are there any Risks involved or Complications in Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopic treatment in osteoarthirtis and pain management is highly debatable; an orthopedic surgeon would best decide the ideal treatment whether arthroscopy or knee replacement suits one better. Anesthetic risks are unlikely, but rarely may occur. Possible complications are the same as in case of open surgery, though the possibility is very low on account of the smaller wound. Excess bleeding, infection, nerve damage, blood clotting, deep vein thrombosis are some of them.
Prognosis is usually faster than any open surgery. However complete recovery would vary for every individual depending upon the type of ailment. Rehabilitation post-surgery consists of incision care, exercise advised by physical therapist and some limitations in physical activities. Resuming back the complete range of activities would take around a month or 6 weeks and would differ for everyone.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.