Knee Arthroscopy: Arthroscopy, or Minimally Invasive “keyhole” surgery, allows the surgeon to look into the knee joint, make an exact diagnosis, and treat the condition with an operation that requires very small skin cuts. We use specially made instruments that fit through the small skin incisions and we visualize the knee using a camera. Because this technique disturbs the knee joint less than open surgery, the hospital stay is shorter and the recovery smoother than with “open surgery”.
There are several conditions that can be treated with knee arthroscopic surgery
- Ligament injuries – ACL, PCL, MCL, PLC, MPFL
- ACL tears
- Meniscus tears
- Cartilage injuries
- Kneecap pain
- Kneecap dislocation
- Loose particles in the joint
- Knee stiffness
- Knee Infections or septic arthritis
You will require some preoperative tests, to ensure you are fit for a general or spinal anesthetic. We will ask you to fill in some questionnaires prior to surgery. We are part of an international group who study outcomes of different operations to ensure that surgical outcomes are satisfactory. We get you to fill out similar questionnaires at the conclusion of your treatment. You will be admitted to the hospital a day prior to surgery or in the morning of surgery. You must remove all rings from your hands and feet prior to surgery. There usually will be 2 or 3 very small puncture wounds about the knee. There could be a 2 cm incision on the shin if we have to take a tendon graft from the leg (eg: when doing ACL reconstructions). In some cases, knee arthroscopy is performed under local anesthesia, making it a “walk in and walk out” procedure. Patients are usually discharged home the same day or the morning following surgery
Knee arthroscopy can be performed under local anesthesia. We will discuss this option during consultation with you. In this technique, patients walk up to the operating table where the surgeon gives injections of anesthetic medicines inside the knee joint. This numbs the knee joint. No Spinal anesthesia (anesthesia by injection in the back) or general anesthesia (making patient unconscious) is required. As patients are awake, they can follow their surgery on screen. After the surgery, patients can walk out of the operation theater by themselves, go up or down stairs and even go home after an hour. The whole procedure is much like going to a dentist !!
Who needs knee arthroscopy?
People with an injury to ligaments, meniscus, or cartilage which occurs in sports injuries and road accidents, often require knee arthroscopy to repair the damage. Similarly, people suffering from loose fragments or cartilage flaps inside the knee causing mechanical symptoms benefit from knee arthroscopy. People suffering from kneecap pain and knee cap dislocations (kneecap popping out) also stand to gain from arthroscopic surgery