Knee arthroscopy is a type of minimally invasive surgical procedure with which many different procedures can be done in the knee region. The surgery is performed through a few small cuts up to 1 cm.
During the surgery, the physician uses an arthroscope through one of the cuts. An arthroscope is a special instrument which is composed of a light source and lens. The video camera attached to the arthroscope enables the whole procedure to be viewed on a display. A 4.5mm arthroscope with a 30° lens angle is most commonly used.
Through additional small cuts the surgeon inserts the specially designed orthopedic instruments with which the procedure is done.
Unlike the classical surgery and the big cut, injury and trauma to the surrounding tissue is minimal with the arthroscopic procedure and the recovery is much faster and better quality.
The most common indications in the knee region are the following:
- meniscal rupture
- Broken cartilage or bone-cartilage fragments
- Damage to the joint cartilage
- Inflammation of the synovial membrane
- Patella instability
- Rupture of the anterior or posterior knee ligaments
The arthroscopic procedure is most commonly done in local and/or spinal anesthesia and sometimes in general anesthesia as well. The patient most frequently goes home the same day after surgery, therefore the procedure is a one-day surgery. Arthroscopic procedures are one of the safest procedures and rarely are complications such as infection or accidental nerve damage possible.
The advantages of arthroscopy, in comparison to classical, open type surgical procedures on the joint are:
- Less pain after surgery
- Faster recovery
- Smaller risk of infection
- The patient can be quickly discharged from the hospital home
- The patient can get back to daily routine activities relatively quickly after surgery