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Knee Arthroscopy


What is Knee Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that helps to diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. During the procedure the surgeon will make a very small incision and a very tiny camera called arthroscope into the knee which allows the surgeon to view inside the knee joint on a screen.

Why Knee Arthroscopy?

If you are experiencing severe knee pain, your doctor may recommend a knee arthroscopy either for diagnosing the condition causing the pain or to confirm the source of pain and to treat the problem.

The following are the conditions of knee that can be diagnosed or treated using knee arthroscopy:

  • Fractures in the knee bone
  • Patella that is out of position
  • Torn posterior or anterior cruciate ligaments
  • Removal of Baker’s cyst
  • Torn meniscus
  • Swollen synovium
  • Cartilage that are loose in the joint

The procedure

During the procedure the surgeon may give you an anesthetic, this may be local, regional or general. After that the surgeon will make a few small incisions in your knee and will pump sterile salt water into the knee to expand it. This makes the surgeon to see inside the joint more easily.

The surgeon will then insert an arthroscope and look around the joint, with the help of the images produced by the attached camera on the monitor in the operating room. Once the surgeon locates the problem in the knee, he will insert small tools through the incision to correct the issue. After correcting the problem area, the surgeon will drain the saline water from the joint and closes the cuts with stitches.

What is the recovery time of knee arthroscopy?

As it is a minimally invasive procedure, you will likely to go home on the same day for recovery and atleast for one day you should have someone to look after you at home. It is important to follow your surgeon instructions after you return home. The recovery from knee arthroscopy is much faster than traditional open knee surgery.

Pros and Cons of Knee Arthroscopy

Pros:

  • Minimally invasive: An arthroscopic procedure is remarkably less invasive compared to traditional open surgery
  • Shorter recovery time: Since the procedure reduces the need to cut through the muscles and tendons, the patient will get recovery in very short time.
  • Less surgical risk: The surgical risk is typically lower because the procedure is minimally invasive and results in less insult to the body.

Cons:

 

  • Even though the invasion is small the body will face trauma and pain that comes with being cut and probed.
  • The procedure is not effective for arthritic pain and degenerative knee conditions
  • It doesnot improve long term pain or function

Authored By: Dr. S. V. Santpure

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