Medically the review by wilhelm Morrison, M.D., specialty in orthopedic surgical treatment — created by mar Ellen Ellis — update on October 21, 2018

What Is Knee Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a surgical an approach that have the right to diagnose and also treat difficulties in the knee joint. During the procedure, her surgeon will make a very small incision and insert a tiny camera — called an arthroscope — right into your knee. This enables them to check out the inside of the joint on a screen. The surgeon deserve to then investigate a trouble with the knee and, if necessary, correct the worry using small instruments within the arthroscope.

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Arthroscopy diagnoses number of knee problems, such as a torn meniscus or a misaligned patella (kneecap). It can likewise repair the ligaments that the joint. There are minimal risks to the procedure and also the outlook is good for many patients. Her recovery time and also prognosis will rely on the severity of the knee problem and also the complexity of the required procedure.


Your doctor may recommend that you undergo a knee arthroscopy if you’re suffering knee pain. Her doctor might have currently diagnosed the problem causing her pain, or they may order the arthroscopy to aid find a diagnosis. In one of two people case, an arthroscopy is a useful way for physicians to confirm the resource of knee pain and treat the problem.

Arthroscopic surgery can diagnose and also treat knee injuries, including:

torn meniscus (the cartilage between the skeleton in the knee)patella that’s out of positionpieces of take it cartilage that are loose in the jointfractures in the knee bonesswollen synovium (the lining in the joint)

Your doctor or surgeon will certainly advise you just how to prepare for your surgery. Be sure to call them around any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements the you’re right now taking. You may need to protect against taking particular medicines, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, because that weeks or days before the procedure.

You must likewise refrain from eat or drink for six to 12 hours prior to the surgery. In part cases, her doctor may prescribe you a pain medication for any discomfort you endure after the surgery. You need to fill this prescription ahead of time so the you have it all set after the procedure.


Your physician will give you one anesthetic prior to your knee arthroscopy. This may be:

local (numbs your knee only)regional (numbs you from the waist down)general (puts you totally to sleep)

If you’re awake, friend may be able to watch the procedure ~ above a monitor.

The operated doctor will start by do a few small incisions, or cuts, in her knee. Sterile salt water, or saline, will certainly then pump in to expand your knee. This renders it much easier for the surgeon to check out inside the joint. The arthroscope enters among the cuts and also the surgeon will look about in your joint utilizing the attached camera. The surgeon deserve to see the images created by the camera top top the monitor in the operating room.

When the operated doctor locates the difficulty in your knee, they might then insert small tools right into the incisions to exactly the issue. After the surgery, the operated doctor drains the saline from your joint and also closes her cuts through stitches.


There are risks associated with any kind of surgery, though they are rare. Every surgery has actually the following risks:

excessive bleeding throughout the procedureinfection at the website of the surgerybreathing obstacles caused by anesthesiaallergic reaction come anesthesia or other medicines administered during surgery

There are additionally risks specific to a knee arthroscopy, such as:

bleeding within the knee jointinfection inside the joint

This surgical treatment isn’t an extremely invasive. For most people, the procedure takes less than an hour depending on the details procedure. Friend will most likely go home on the exact same day because that recovery. You must use one ice pack on her knee and a dressing. The ice cream will aid reduce swelling and minimize her pain.

At home, girlfriend should have someone look at after you, at the very least for the an initial day. Try to save your foot elevated and put ice cream on it for a day or 2 to minimize swelling and pain. You’ll also need to adjust your dressing. Your medical professional or surgeon will certainly tell you once to carry out these things and also for just how long. Girlfriend will probably need to see your surgeon because that a follow-up meeting a few days ~ the procedure.

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Your medical professional will give you an exercise regimen to monitor at residence to aid your knee recover, or will certainly recommend a physics therapist to see until you’re maybe to usage your knee normally. The exercises are important to assist restore your full range of motion and to strengthen her muscles. Through the appropriate care, your outlook after having actually this procedure is excellent.


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Medically reviewed by william Morrison, M.D., specialty in orthopedic surgical procedure — created by mar Ellen Ellis — updated on October 21, 2018