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Understanding Knee Arthroscopy Treatment Options
If you’ve tried medication, physical therapy and other conservative methods of treatment, and you’re still experiencing knee pain, your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy.
What is Knee Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy uses a device called an arthroscope. This pen-shaped instrument has a miniature video camera attached to the end. The arthroscope is inserted through a small incision in the knee. The camera relays images to a video monitor screen. Surgeons can use the images to diagnose the joint problem and to carry out appropriate surgery. During this outpatient procedure, you will probably be given an IV so you can get the right fluids and medications. The anesthesia you get will be dependent on the type of surgery you are getting. Arthroscopy may be performed under general anesthesia, a local anesthetic, a spinal or epidural anesthetic or a regional block, where the knee is just numbed.
During the surgery, several small incisions are made to insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments. First, the surgeon uses the arthroscope to view inside of the knee and structures such as the bones, tendons, and ligaments. Then the surgeon can use small instruments to make necessary repairs.
What Are the Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery?
Arthroscopic procedures are typically conducted as outpatient surgeries that may 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.
What Are the Risks of Arthroscopic Surgery?
All surgery has risks. A patient’s orthopaedic surgeon will discuss the specific risks associated with his or her procedure and recovery. The risks of orthopaedic surgery depend on the patient’s health before surgery and the type of surgery performed. In addition, a patient’s anesthesiologist will discuss the risk associated with the use of anesthesia during his or her procedure.
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.