Knee Arthroscopy is minimally invasive surgery in which a viewing instrument, the arthroscope, is inserted into the knee via a tiny incision, allowing the surgeon a full view of the inside of the joint. Further specialised instruments are inserted via separate small incisions in order to address a range of problems.
Some of the problems amenable to arthroscopic treatment include:
- Meniscal tears either via repair or trimming.
- Loose cartilage flaps and free floating loose bodies of cartilage and bone.
- Anterior cruciate ligament injuries.
Symptoms suggestive of these problems are pain, catching, locking, swelling or a feeling of instability.
Arthroscopic treatment of meniscal tear
A thorough assessment is carried out at your initial consultation. The type of symptoms, history of an injury, knee examination, X-ray and / or MRI findings will usually allow an accurate diagnosis. However, at times, an arthroscopic examination provides final clarification.
It is important to understand that while knee arthroscopy can often be of great benefit, there are certain problems, such as osteoarthritis (wear and tear) which cannot be remedied by an arthroscopic procedure.
The Operation and recovery
Knee arthroscopy is performed under a general anaesthetic. You will generally be allowed to walk immediately and go home on the day of surgery. Following more complex procedures such as a cruciate ligament reconstruction, a day or 2 in hospital will be required.
Recovery is variable and depends upon the underlying problem. Dr Mison will be able to give you an approximation of recovery time prior to surgery and a more precise idea following surgery.