Knee Arthroscopy

What is arthroscopic knee surgery

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fiber-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an “arthroscope,” which projects an image to a television monitor. Thanks to ongoing improvementsmade by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgeryis now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. Infact, active patients all over the world have experienced the benefits ofminimally invasive surgical procedures.

Arthroscopy may be used for a variety of knee joint conditions, includinga torn meniscus, loose pieces of broken cartilage in the joint, a torn ordamaged anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL/PCL), an inflamed ordamaged synovium (the lining of the joint), or a malalignment of the patella(knee cap).

Through an incision the width of a straw tip, your surgeon is able to inserta scope, which allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the sourceof your pain. The scope can also help identify tears or other damage thatmay have been missed by an X-ray or MRI. Your surgeon will then make oneor more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to repairthe knee. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth thedamaged areas.

Arthroscopic knee surgery is often performed in an outpatient surgerycenter, which means no overnight hospital stay is required. Patients reportto the surgical center in the morning, undergo the procedure, and -following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals – returnhome later in the day.

Postoperative care

After surgery, you will be transported to the recovery room for closeobservation of your vital signs and circulation. You may remain in therecovery room for a few hours.

When you leave the hospital, your knee will be covered with a bandage,and you may be instructed to walk with the assistance of crutches. You alsomay be instructed to ice or elevate your knee.

Your surgeon will likely provide further details regarding postoperative carefor your specific procedure.


Steps for rehabilitation following a meniscus repair or an ACL procedurevary from physician to physician. To learn what activities will be involved inyour own rehabilitation, consult your orthopedic specialist.

All information provided on this website is for information purposes only. Every patient’s case is unique and each patient should follow his or her doctor’s specific instructions. Please discuss nutrition, medication and treatment options with your doctor to make sure you are getting the proper care for your particular situation. If you are seeking this information in an emergency situation, please call 911 and seek emergency help.

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