The knee is made up of the femur, tibia and patella (knee cap) all lined with the surface cartilage. Knee arthroscopy is surgical method to diagnose and treat several knee joint problems. During the procedure, surgeon will make a small cut and place special with a small camera and fiber optic light called an arthroscope inside the knee to view all the structure inside the knee. Knee arthroscopy surgery can diagnose and treat various knee problems like:
1. Torn meniscus cartilage
2. Anterior cruciate ligament tears
3. Removal of baker’s cyst
4. Swollen synovium
5. Washout of infected knees
6. Articular cartilage wear
7. Misaligned patella (kneecap).
8. Arthroscopy can also help in repairing the ligaments of the joint.
Some knee joint problem doesn’t require surgery and can be corrected with non-surgical treatments such as rest, physical therapy, medications and injections to reduce pain and inflammation. When person is not responding to conventional treatment then the knee arthroscopic surgery may be recommended by the doctor.
Orthopedic surgeon may recommend some tests such as overall health of the patient, medical evaluation, X-rays, MRIs, blood tests or an electrocardiogram (EKG) to identify any problems that may interfere with the surgery.
Knee arthroscopic surgery is done under the anesthesia that may be local, regional or general. Surgeon will then insert arthroscop (a tiny camera) through a small incision made on the patient’s knee. Salt water or saline will be filled in the joint to expand the knee so that it becomes easier for the doctor to see inside the joint and treat or remove the damaged part or correct the problem located in the knee. After the surgery, salt water or saline will be drained out from the knee and incision will closed with sutures and covered in the bandage.
There might be some rare risk and complications involved in this surgery:
• Infection at the surgery site
• Blood clots
• Knee stiffness
• Accumulation of the blood in the knee
• Bleeding inside the knee joint
• Injury to cartilage, ligaments, meniscus, blood vessels or nerve damage
Arthroscopic knee surgery is less invasive and takes less time depending on the procedure. Patient will be given pain medications, would be suggested to keep ice pack on it for a day or two to reduce the swelling and pain. Proper follow up with the doctor and physical therapy or rehabilitation exercise will be recommended. Recovering from the arthroscopic surgery is faster than that of traditional surgery procedure.