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A minimally invasive surgical approach that allows the surgeon to see inside the knee and carry out procedures through a small incision.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat knee injuries. This minimally invasive approach to surgery can help speed recovery, reduce pain and minimize scarring, when compared with traditional open surgery1.
What Are My Treatment Options?
Arthroscopy uses a device called an arthroscope. This small, pen-shaped instrument has a miniature video camera attached to the end. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision in the knee.
How to Prepare
Before your orthopaedist or orthopaedic surgeon performs the surgery, they may have you:
- Get a physical exam, blood work and urine analysis to get a sense of any problems that could arise.
- Adjust certain medications like blood thinners.
- Get any health-related issues like diabetes or high blood pressure under control.
When choosing an orthopaedic surgeon, keep the following things in mind:
- Orthopaedic surgeons are medical doctors or osteopaths with an MD or DO degree who should have completed a residency in orthopaedics.
Recovery & Rehabilitation
Day of Procedure
Arthroscopic procedures are typically conducted as outpatient surgeries that do not require a hospital stay. The type of anesthesia given will depend on the procedure and the preference of the patient and medical team. An intravenous (IV) catheter will likely be placed to deliver the anesthetic, and to make sure that the right fluid balance is maintained during the procedure.
Early on, patients may experience some swelling and discomfort in the knee. This may last for several days after the surgery.
Little changes in your lifestyle can make a big difference in caring for your knee — from maintaining a healthy weight to exercising correctly.
It is often said that the knee is the largest joint in the body. The knee itself is actually comprised of four separate joints.
1. Treuting R. Minimally invasive orthopedic surgery: arthroscopy. The Ochsner Journal 2000; 2:158-163
Important Safety Information
The success of the knee arthroscopy procedure depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee arthroscopy is right for you.