Knee Arthroscopy: Reasons, Procedure & Benefits

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Knee Arthroscopy is a new surgical methodology that has transformed how different kinds of orthopedic surgeries are performed. Today this minimally intrusive surgical intervention, in which a joint (arthro-) is detected (-scopy) with the help of a small camera with light, is used by almost every well-experienced knee surgeons to diagnose and treat knee injuries.

Describing the Procedure

After inserting a small camera, less than a fourth of an inch in diameter, into the cut given in the knee, it is then attached to a monitor so that the surgeon can view the knee tissue. Many a times the patients are also allowed to observe the surgery from this monitor.

Knee Arthroscopy is considered to be a normal and quite simple surgical procedure in which only local or regional anesthesia is given to numb the operation site. Throughout the surgery, the patient remains articulate and alert. But if the surgery is extensive as it can be in some cases, the patient is given general anesthesia, rendering the patient to sleep without pain.

After searching the knee to assess the damage, the surgeon will make four additional cuts for the insertion of other instruments which include a blunt hook, a shaver, a burr and a heat probe.

Reasons for the Surgery

The basic reasons due to which an arthroscopy is undertaken include:

  • repair or elimination of a torn meniscus
  • minor arthritis
  • exclusion of loose fragments of bone or cartilage floating within the knee joint
  • repair of a damaged anterior cruciate or posterior cruciate ligament
  • inflammation or impairment of the joint lining
  • alignment of a knee cap

Benefits

Arthroscopy can successfully diagnose the joint condition of patients and this enables the surgeon to determine right kind of treatment for knee problems like ACL rupture, knee-cap disorder and torn meniscus. Arthroscopy is generally preferred by the surgeons because its recovery time is much faster than that of conventional open knee surgery. After an arthroscopy knee surgery, patient feels better as the knee mobility is improved. After the surgery the patient can live a normal and active life with greater comfort and almost no pain.

Recovery time

If you have undergone a simple debridement (meniscal cleaning) procedure, then the recovery is quick. Your surgeon will also prescribe you painkillers at the initial stage to control the pain.

If you have undergone with a complicated surgery that involves repairing and reconstruction of knee will result slower recovery time and can take several months to a year.

Dr Dhananjay Gupta

Dr Dhananjay Gupta
Director and Senior Consultant,
Orthopaedics and Joint Reconstruction and Replacement Surgeon
Fortis Flt. Lt. Rajan Dhall Hospital, Vasant Kunj, Delhi.

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