What is arthroscopic knee surgery
In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular,
especially in the sports world, as fiber-optic technology enabled surgeons to
see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope," which
projects an image to a television monitor. Thanks to ongoing improvements
made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgery
is now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. In
fact, active patients all over the world have experienced the benefits of
minimally invasive surgical procedures.
Arthroscopy may be used for a variety of knee joint conditions, including
a torn meniscus, loose pieces of broken cartilage in the joint, a torn or
damaged anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL), an inflamed or
damaged synovium (the lining of the joint), or a malalignment of the patella
Through an incision the width of a straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert
a scope, which allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source
of your pain. The scope can also help identify tears or other damage that
may have been missed by an X-ray or MRI. Your surgeon will then make one
or more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to repair
the knee. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the
Arthroscopic knee surgery is often performed in an outpatient surgery
center, which means no overnight hospital stay is required. Patients report
to the surgical center in the morning, undergo the procedure, and -
following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return
home later in the day.
After surgery, you will be transported to the recovery room for close
observation of your vital signs and circulation. You may remain in the
recovery room for a few hours.
When you leave the hospital, your knee will be covered with a bandage,
and you may be instructed to walk with the assistance of crutches. You also
may be instructed to ice or elevate your knee.
Your surgeon will likely provide further details regarding postoperative care
for your specific procedure.
Steps for rehabilitation following a meniscus repair or an ACL procedure
vary from physician to physician. To learn what activities will be involved in
your own rehabilitation, consult your orthopedic specialist.