What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Arthroscopic surgery is one of the most common orthopedic procedures. It is a minimally invasive surgery that primarily takes place on any of the following six joints: shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee, and ankle. In fact, the beginning of the word (arthro) means “joint” or “jointed”; so while these six locations are the most common, arthroscopic surgery can take place on any joint. Arthroscopic knee surgery is one of the most common types of knee surgery, and contains many benefits for patients.

The Procedure

Patients undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery are sedated using a small amount of anesthesia. Surgeons performing arthroscopic knee surgery will then typically make one to two small, pencil sized incisions in the joint. These are usually ¼” to ½” in length. The knee is flooded with sterile saline solution, which is used to expand the joint and create more room for working. This also provides the operators with better vision of any damaged areas inside the joint.

Next, an arthroscope, which is an instrument with a small lens, camera, and lighting system, is inserted into the knee through the previously mentioned incisions. The surgeons view the arthroscope’s feed on a video screen, and use this feed to insert miniaturized instruments into the joint to repair any damages without disrupting the surrounding areas. Although operating time may vary, most arthroscopies are completed in under an hour. Once the surgery is completed, the incisions are closed with several small stitches or steri strips. A full recovery will typically involve physical therapy and take several months, depending on the extent of the surgery.

Learn more about arthroscopy and what to expect as a patient of OrthoUnited.

The Benefits

Patients who receive arthroscopic knee surgery face less risk of infection compared to traditional surgical methods. Arthroscopic knee surgery also is less painful, and has a shorter recovery time. It is also an outpatient procedure, which means that the majority of patients will be able to return home on the same day.

Learn more about the benefits of arthroscopy.

The Decision

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive, specific surgery that can fix a variety of conditions on ligaments and tendons; but how do you know if arthroscopic knee surgery is right for you?

While doing personal research is important and can be helpful for gaining a better understanding, it can’t replace the experience and knowledge of trained professionals. Request an appointment with one of the skilled doctors at OrthoUnited to see if arthroscopic surgery is right for you.