What is a Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is an orthopaedic procedure used to diagnose and treat injuries or degenerative changes in the knee joint.

The Procedure

  • The patient undergoes general anesthesia or local anesthesia
  • His/her skin is disinfected with an anti-bacterial solution and a sterile drape is used to cover the non-operative site
  • In most cases two small incisions are made near the knee joint
  • Sterile salt water (saline) is pumped into the joint to expand it; this creates space for the arthroscope and other tools to be guided to the problem area
  • The arthroscope once inserted into the joint, aids the surgeon in his investigation for any trauma, disease or natural deterioration
  • Treatment is carried out through the second incision with specially designed medical tools
  • The operation concludes with the surgeon suturing the incisions and applying a sterile bandage

An Arthroscope is a slender telescope fitted with a lens system and fibreoptic illumination; it projects a magnified image of the inside of a joint onto a television monitor. The surgeon uses the arthroscope to diagnose or operate pathologies affecting the joint.

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery used to treat a series of conditions. Recovery is faster than open surgery, less painful and leaves minimal scarring. It may be recommended to a patient if they do not respond to non-surgical treatment.

Knee Arthroscopy is Used to

  • Remove or repair torn menisci; the cushion between the bones in the knee. They may be trimmed to a stable rim or occasionally repaired
  • Reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Trim torn pieces of surface (articular) cartilage; further techniques to improve its condition
  • Remove inflamed synovial tissue
  • Repair misalignment of the kneecap
  • Treat Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS) disorder
  • Remove a Baker’s cyst; a swollen cyst behind the knee that is filled with fluid and causes pain
  • Remove loose bodies and cysts; they can be cartilage or bone that has broken off
  • Washout and debridement of infected knees
  • General diagnostic purposes

Operation and recovery times are affected by the severity of a patient’s condition and his/her overall health.