Diagnostic Knee Arthroscopy Knee Arthroscopy

Overview & Description

Knee arthroscopy is a common procedure used to diagnoseand treat knee injuries. The surgeon examines the knee with an instrumentcalled an arthroscope. The arthroscope is a pencil-sized tube with a lightand camera attached to the end of it. It is inserted into a cut in the knee.An image of the inside of the knee is then seen on a television screen.The surgeon can view the entire knee joint, which may allow himor her to repair certain injuries.

Who is a candidate for the procedure?

Knee arthroscopy is used to diagnose the cause of pain,swelling, tenderness, or weakness in a person’s knee. It may berecommended for a person with:

  • a torn knee cartilage
  • a damaged kneecap
  • a damaged ligament
  • an inflamed or damaged lining of the joint
  • How is the procedure performed?

    Knee arthroscopy is usually done in asame day surgery center.This means the person can go home the same day as the procedure.

    This procedure is done using general anesthesiaor local anesthesia.Several small incisions are made in the knee. The surgeon insertsthe arthroscope through one of the incisions. Other instruments areinserted through the other incisions. The surgeon can see the ligaments,the cartilage, kneecap, and the lining of the joint. This allows him or her toperform surgery to correct any damage. The small incisions will be closedwith stitches or small, sticky pieces of special tape.

    Preparation & Expectations

    What happens right after the procedure?

    After the procedure, the person is taken to asurgery recovery room.Mild discomfort may be felt, and this can be relieved with pain medicine.The person can begin taking fluids if no nausea is present. The affectedknee should be elevated on a pillow. An ice pack can be used to decreasethe swelling. The person can usually go home within a few hours.

    Home Care and Complications

    What happens later at home?

    Recovery time depends on what is found during theprocedure and what was done. Most people go home the same dayas their surgery. Crutches may be needed for a while to take weightand pressure off the knee joint. The leg should be kept elevated andice applied for 10 to 15 minutes at a time for the first 24 to 48 hours.Activity can increase over time depending on the amount of pain andswelling present in the knee. Pain can be managed with pain medicine.If extensive repair of the knee was done, physical therapymay be needed.

    What are the potential complications after the procedure?

    There are potential problems with any surgery or anesthesia.This includes infection, bleeding, and reaction to the medicine used.Nerve injury, causing numbness around the small incisions, may alsooccur.

    Article type: xmedgeneral