Knee Surgery Arthroscopy Overview
Knee arthroscopy (Knee Surgery Arthroscopy ) is a surgery that uses a tiny camera to look inside your knee. The camera is attached to a video monitor that lets the surgeon see inside the knee. The surgeon will make two or three small cuts around your knee and may put other small surgery tools inside your knee through the small cuts. Saline, a mixture of sodium chloride in water will be pumped into your knee to inflate the knee.
A cuff-like device may be put around your thigh to help control the bleeding during the procedure. The surgeon will close your cuts with sutures (stitches) and cover them with a dressing. The surgeon will then fix or remove the problem in your knee. At the end of your surgery, the saline will be drained from your knee. Many surgeons take pictures of the procedure from the video monitor. You may be able to view these pictures after the operation so that you can see what was done.
- Before the procedure
- During the procedure
- After the procedure
- If you smoke or drink alcohol, try to stop because it can slow down wound and bone healing leading to a higher rate of surgical complications.
- Always tell your doctor, what medicines you are taking, even drugs, supplements, or herbs you bought without a prescription.
- You may be told to stop taking medicines that make it harder for your blood to clot. These include aspirin, ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), naproxen (Naprosyn, Aleve), and other blood thinners.
Knee Surgery Arthroscopy During the procedure
- You will most often be asked not to drink or eat anything for 6 to 12 hours before the procedure.
- Take the medicines you have been told to take with a small sip of water.
- The surgeon will give you an anaesthetic before your knee arthroscopy. This may include:
- Local anaesthesia. Your knee may be numbed with pain medicine. You will stay awake and relaxed during the procedure.
- General anaesthesia. You will be asleep and pain-free.
- Spinal/ Regional anaesthesia. The pain medicine is injected into space in your spine. You will stay awake but will not be able to feel anything below your waist.
- Regional nerve block. This is another type of regional anaesthesia which will block out pain so that you need less general anaesthesia. The pain medicine is injected around the nerve in your (groin) hip. You will be asleep during the operation.
- Then, the skin on your knee will be cleaned to help prevent surgical site infection,
- The surgeon will make a few small incisions, called “portals,” in your knee.
- A sterile solution will be used to fill the knee joint and rinse away any cloudy fluid. This helps your orthopaedic surgeon see the structures inside your knee clearly in detail.
- And, further, if surgical treatment is needed, your surgeon will insert tiny instruments through other small incisions.
After the procedure:
Your surgeon may close each incision with a stitch or steri-strips (small band-aids) and then cover your knee with a soft bandage. A soft bandage will protect your incisions while they heal.
Knee arthroscopy may be indicated in patients with certain knee injuries, particularly those that do not respond to non-surgical treatment which includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation. The knee arthroscopy can also last for less than an hour depending on the findings of the person as it is faster from traditional open knee surgery.
It is highly important to follow your doctor’s instructions carefully after you return home. Consult the doctor if you have symptoms like bleeding, swelling or pain, yellowish discharge from your incisions and also if you have a high temperature after the treatment. It is advisable to exercise your knee regularly for several weeks after surgery. This will restore motion and strengthen the muscles of your leg and knee.