Knee Joint Arthroscopy

This minimally invasive surgical procedure can diagnose and treat a variety of knee conditions. Typical applications include meniscus repair, ACL tears restoration, patella alignment, and removal of damaged structures.

What You Need To Know About Knee Joint Arthroscopy

What is a Knee Joint Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure to examine the knee joint. Rather than relying on large incisions to infiltrate soft tissue and skin, knee joint arthroscopy lets a surgeon view your knee and surrounding structures with a small incision and a specialty camera. The camera allows them to peer inside of the joint.

Sometimes a surgeon can correct issues as they're investigating the underlying problem using micro-scale surgical tools. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, there is quicker recovery time, and most people can resume their routine within weeks of their procedure.

Getting knee pain relief starts with a visit to your Resurgens physician. Book an appointment now to talk with one of our expert knee physicians.

Why is a Knee Joint Arthroscopy Performed?

Your physician may suggest knee joint arthroscopy for a variety of reasons. The procedure can explore and diagnose the cause of pain. It can also alleviate pain from conditions related to soft tissue injury and surrounding cartilage. Because it has many applications, there are many procedures your physician may recommend that involve knee joint arthroscopy. Some of these procedures include:

Arthroscopy is a useful method for understanding your pain and diagnosing your condition. Your doctor will be able to use the information gathered during this procedure to plan your unique treatment plan.

How To Prepare For A Knee Joint Arthroscopy

You will need to visit a Resurgens physician for evaluation before undergoing knee joint arthroscopy. During this appointment, you will talk to a physician about your lifestyle goals as well as your current medication and family history.

Additionally, your physician will need to see what is causing your knee pain, so be prepared to experience some brief irritation as they ask you to reenact tasks that trigger your pain. During this portion of the exam, your physician may need to touch your tender areas, which may be painful.

To help plan your procedure, your physician may order diagnostic screening tests. These are necessary to help plan your procedure. While your doctor creates your treatment plan, make arrangements with a care taking service, or loved one to look after you during your recovery.

What Happens During A Knee Joint Arthroscopy?

Every procedure is different. But generally, a knee joint arthroscopy follows this workflow:

  • Your surgeon will start your procedure by making some small openings in your skin.

  • They will guide an arthroscope through one of these holes, and use the remaining openings for specialized surgical tools.

  • The surgeon will guide the arthroscope through your joint. Sometimes fluid is pumped into the joint to make the components clear

  • As the surgeon searches through your knee, they will look for damaged tissues and other problems

  • If they find any issues, the surgeon may fix it then or make recommendations for future procedures

  • After finishing your procedure, the surgeon removes their tools, and your incisions are closed.

  • Following a brief observation period, you will be discharged to a caretaker you have independently arranged for your at-home recovery.

Are There Risks Associated With Knee Joint Arthroscopy?

There is no such thing as a risk-free procedure. That said, knee joint arthroscopy has a very low complication rate. When complications do arise, they are usually slight and do not require significant intervention.

Some common complications include:

  • Excessive bleeding and bleeding inside knee joint

  • Joint or surgical incision site infection

  • Blood clot formation in the leg

  • Unintended damage or injury to meniscus, ligaments, cartilage, blood vessels, or nerves in the knee

  • Knee stiffness

This is not an exhaustive list of risks from knee joint arthroscopy. Your physician can provide you with a more thorough evaluation of arthroscopy.

Post Knee Joint Arthroscopy And Recovery

Immediately following your knee joint arthroscopy, staff will transfer you to a recovery area. After a few hours, you should be able to go home. You will need to hire or ask someone to look after you and drive you home from the procedure. Have them perform periodic wellness checks on you as you recover.

It is not uncommon to experience pain while you recover. Your doctor may prescribe medication to help manage and reduce pain. Over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications can help alleviate pain, as well. Be careful using these substances as they are habit-forming. Your doctor may prescribe additional medicines to help lessen your risk of blood clots.

Expect the knee to swell during your recovery. Applying ice and keeping your leg elevated can help offset the extent of swelling and pain. You will leave the hospital with surgical dressing over your knee. Make sure that you change out this dressing at regular intervals. Until your doctor clears you, do not bathe or shower this area.

After knee joint arthroscopy, most patients use assistance like crutches to help them get around. These devices help you gradually regain motion and muscle strength. Additionally, physical therapy will help you restore your foot and leg. Once your doctor has cleared you, you may begin therapeutic exercise and your usual routine. Patients should avoid driving for the first few weeks following the procedure. Do not engage in any activity until your doctor has permitted you.

Schedule an appointment at Resurgens Orthopaedics today to learn more about diagnosing and treating knee pain.

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