Knee pain, swelling, and stiffness bother millions of Americans every day. When physical therapy, medications, and other interventions don’t relieve symptoms sufficiently, knee arthroscopy may help.
Here’s more about this surgical procedure and why you may need it.
What Is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a small incision orthopedic surgery that allows knee doctors to view and treat the interior of the knee joint. During this short procedure, an orthopedic surgeon uses small operating instruments and a lighted miniature camera (arthroscope) to access, visualize, and repair the joint.
With knee arthroscopy, doctors can repair torn ligaments, remove pieces of torn cartilage, remove a benign Baker’s cyst, and much more. Most importantly, the procedure yields important diagnostic information, which a simple physical examination and digital imaging cannot provide in many instances.
Fortunately, most individuals tolerate this state-of-the-art surgery very well. Recovery is usually quick, but depends on the diagnosis and if repairs were made during the procedure.
Why Would I Need Knee Arthroscopy?
In the hands of a highly-qualified orthopedic specialist in Boynton Beach, knee arthroscopy helps diagnose and/or treat a wide array of joint symptoms and conditions, including:
- Knee stiffness and pain, resulting from osteoarthritis (wear and tear arthritis)
- Torn meniscus, the C-shaped cartilage between the upper and lower leg bones
- Patellar (knee cap) dislocation and instability
- Fractures of the knee cap and upper and lower leg bones
- Baker’s cysts, benign fluid-filled growths at the back of the knee
- Inflammation of the synovium, which lines the knee joint
- Torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments (ACL or PCL)
How is Knee Arthroscopy Performed?
Depending on your particular diagnosis and overall health and physical condition, your arthroscopy may be a one-day procedure. It involves local, general or regional anesthesia and several small incisions into the knee joint.
When the knee doctor inserts the arthroscope through one of the incisions, they will clearly see inside the joint by viewing real time images on a nearby video screen. A sterile saline solution will inflate the joint space and enhance image clarity and operating space. The doctor can simply explore the joint to make a diagnosis or make corrections to the interior structures using fine surgical tools attached to the scope. Once complete, stitches or sutures will be used to close the incisions.
Recovery from knee arthroscopy involves rest, wound care, elevation of the operated knee, and pain medications as prescribed. Many patients need a program of physical therapy as part of their post-operative rehabilitation, but in general, recovery is much quicker than with larger incision procedures, such as knee replacement.
Comprehensive Orthopedic Care in Boynton Beach, FL
Knee arthroscopy is just one of the many services we provide at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Our six board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons have vast knowledge and experience in the diagnosis and treatment of many acute and chronic disorders of the bone and soft tissues. Our caring team specializes in disorders of the neck, spine, hand, hip, knee, and shoulder–in short, disorders related to the entire musculoskeletal system.
To learn more about knee arthroscopy, please contact our office at (561) 733-5888, or request an appointment online. We look forward to serving you.