If you are experiencing knee pain, swelling, or a feeling of instability in your knee, you may need to undergo a knee arthroscopy. Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that allows doctors to diagnose and treat knee problems.
In this article, we’ll break down what the procedure is, why it’s done, and what to expect during and after the surgery.
What Is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a type of surgery that uses a small camera, called an arthroscope, which is inserted into the knee joint through small incisions.
The arthroscope transmits images of the inside of the knee to a monitor, allowing the surgeon to see the structures inside the joint, such as cartilage, ligaments, and tendons.
The surgeon can then diagnose and treat any abnormalities they find inside the knee.
Benefits and Risks of Knee Arthroscopy
Like any surgical procedure, knee arthroscopy carries benefits and risks. Here are some of the most significant ones:
- Minimally invasive: Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that requires only small incisions, reducing the risk of complications and speeding up recovery time.
- Shorter hospital stay: Most people can go home the same day as the procedure, which means they spend less time in the hospital.
- Quicker recovery: The recovery time for knee arthroscopy is generally quicker than for traditional open surgery.
- Less pain: Compared to traditional open surgery, knee arthroscopy usually causes less pain and discomfort.
- Improved accuracy: The arthroscope allows the surgeon to see inside the joint with high accuracy, improving the chances of a successful outcome.
- Infection: As with any surgery, there is a risk of infection. Your doctor may prescribe antibiotics to reduce the risk.
- Blood clots: There is a risk of blood clots forming in the leg veins after the surgery. You can prevent this by wearing compression stockings and moving around.
- Nerve or blood vessel damage: There is a small risk of damage to nerves or blood vessels during the procedure, which can cause numbness or weakness in the leg.
- Anesthesia complications: General anesthesia carries its own risks, such as an allergic reaction or breathing difficulties.
- Failure to improve symptoms: While knee arthroscopy can be highly effective in treating certain knee problems, it is not always successful.
When Arthroscopic Knee Surgery May Be Recommended
Your doctor may recommend arthroscopic knee surgery if you have any of the following conditions:
A meniscus tear occurs when the cartilage in the knee joint is torn. This can cause pain, swelling, and stiffness in the knee.
In some cases, the meniscus can be repaired through arthroscopic surgery. However, in severe cases, the damaged portion of the meniscus may need to be removed.
Loose Bone Fragments
Loose bone fragments can cause pain and inflammation in the knee joint. These fragments can be removed through arthroscopic surgery.
Cartilage is the smooth tissue that covers the ends of bones in a joint. If it becomes damaged, it can cause pain, swelling, and difficulty moving the joint.
During arthroscopic knee surgery, the damaged cartilage can be smoothed out or removed.
ACL or PCL Tear
The ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) are two important ligaments in the knee joint. If they become torn, it can cause knee instability and difficulty walking.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to repair or reconstruct these ligaments.
Patellar Tracking Disorder
The patella (kneecap) can sometimes become misaligned and rub against the femur, causing pain and inflammation.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to realign the patella and improve its tracking.
What Happens During Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is usually performed under general anesthesia. The surgeon will make small incisions around the knee and insert the arthroscope and surgical instruments.
They will then examine the knee joint and perform any necessary repairs. If there is a damaged meniscus, the surgeon can repair or remove it using special instruments.
If there is damaged cartilage, they can smooth it out or remove it. Loose bone fragments can also be removed during the procedure.
What to Expect After Knee Arthroscopy
Most people can go home the same day as the procedure, but you will need someone to drive you home.
You may experience pain, swelling, and stiffness in your knee, but your doctor will provide medication to help manage the pain. You will also need to keep your leg elevated and apply ice to reduce swelling.
Crutches may be needed for a few days or weeks after the procedure, depending on the extent of the surgery.
Your doctor will give you specific instructions on when you can return to work, exercise, and other activities.
The Best Knee Doctor in Boyton Beach, FL
If you are experiencing knee pain or swelling that does not respond to nonsurgical treatments, knee arthroscopy may be an option for you. The procedure is minimally invasive and allows doctors to diagnose and treat knee problems with high accuracy.
Are you in search of the best knee doctor in Boyton Beach, FL? You can trust the orthopedic surgeons at Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches. Our entire healthcare team focuses on giving patients like you the best care possible. You may call our friendly staff today at (561) 733-5888, Ext. 9, so we can help you. You can also use our online request form to book a visit with the best orthopedic surgeon near you.
We look forward to serving you!