Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Arthroscopic knee surgery or knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat medical conditions of the knee joint.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is an alternative to open surgical procedures of the knee. Open surgical procedures are riskier because:
- They require a bigger incision.
- Muscles and tendons are displaced more than arthroscopic procedures.
- The risk of infections is higher as compared to an arthroscopic procedure.
- Recovery time is longer than arthroscopic procedures.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery reduces the risks considerably and presents a better outlook of complete recovery after surgery. Thus, it is the preferred choice of orthopedic surgeons.
Secondly, Knee arthroscopy is used to diagnose the medical conditions of the knee joint. The surgeon is able to see the inside of the knee joint with the arthroscope, which enables him to make an informed diagnosis of knee medical conditions such as:
- Misaligned patella.
- Torn meniscus.
- Torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL).
- Torn posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL).
- Swollen synovium.
- Fractured patella (knee cap).
Who Needs Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
An orthopedic surgeon may recommend arthroscopic knee surgery for two reasons: (i) diagnosis, and (ii) treatment.
If a patient is experiencing knee pain, the surgeon may recommend an arthroscopic procedure to (i) diagnose the source of knee pain and (ii) confirm his/her diagnosis.
Many knee conditions may cause similar symptoms, which can make it hard to diagnose the exact condition. Arthroscopy allows the doctor to see inside the knee joint, thus enabling him/her to make a correct diagnosis.
Once the condition has been diagnosed, arthroscopic knee surgery may be recommended by the surgeon to treat the condition. Arthroscopic procedures are useful for:
- Repairing and reconstructing torn ligaments, tissues, and tendons.
- Mend broken bones, trim cartilage, and realign the knee cap.
How is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Performed?
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery varies according to the knee condition it is being used to treat. An arthroscopic procedure to treat a torn ACL is different from an arthroscopic procedure used to treat swollen synovium.
However, arthroscopic knee surgery does have some common steps, which are listed as follows:
- The anesthesiologist administers anesthesia to the patient. Anesthesia can be local, regional, or general.
- The surgeon makes small incisions on your knee. The incisions are usually 1-2 centimeters in diameter.
- The surgeon pumps saline water into the knee to enlarge it. This action increases visibility.
- The surgeon inserts an arthroscope in one of the incisions. The arthroscope is a small camera that transmits images from inside the knee. These images are displayed on a monitor.
- The surgeon is able to diagnose the cause of knee pain after examining these images.
- If the identified condition requires a surgical solution, then the surgeon inserts small instruments through another small incision and treat the problem. The surgeon then drains the saline water from the knee — afterward, the surgeon sutures and bandages the incisions.
- If the identified problem can be treated non-surgically, the surgeon removes the arthroscope, drain the saline water, suture, and bandage the incision.
Complete Medical Wellness Center (CMW) is a state-of-the-art medical facility in New Jersey. Our team of board-certified orthopedic surgeons has specific specialties that allow them to treat each case effectively. We have orthopedic surgeons who specialize in:
- Joint preservation.
- Sports medicine.
Each of the surgeons has extensive experience in performing successful arthroscopic as well as open surgical procedures to treat joint injuries.
Schedule an online consultation with our orthopedic specialist and avail effective, reliable, and best orthopedic treatments in NJ.
What to Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
- Arthroscopic knee surgery procedures are performed as outpatient procedures, which means that the patient is free to leave a few hours after the surgery.
- After the surgery, the patient is sent to the post-op recovery room, where they are carefully examined.
- If no complications arise, the patient is free to leave the hospital.
How Long Does Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Take?
- Most Arthroscopic knee surgery procedures are completed with 1 – 2 hours.
How Long Does Swelling Last After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
- The patient should expect swelling in the knee after surgery. It is normal and may last for 3-5 days.
- The surgeon may recommend the patient to keep their leg elevated to reduce swelling.
How Long to Recover from Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?
- Recovery time depends on the type of condition, the severity of the condition, and patient characteristics. In general, a person may start to regain the movement of their knee joint three weeks after surgery.
- The surgeon may recommend the patient to start going to work and drive after 6-7 weeks. They may prescribe light exercise after 3 – 4 months of surgery. A patient can expect to recover complete movement eight to 12 months after the surgery.
- Surgeons may prescribe focused physical therapy in the recovery period.