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Knee Arthroscopy

WHAT IS A KNEE ARTHROSCOPY?

A Knee Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical (MIS) procedure, which provides a quick, easy and clear view of the inside of the knee through a pencil size slim, high-resolution camera known as an Arthroscope. Knee arthroscopy is also known by different names such as knee synovectomy, Meniscus repair or simply knee surgery.

WHY IS AN ARTHROSCOPE USED?

Arthroscope is a tiny camera which enables the visualisation of the internal regions ,as it is connected to a monitor or screen. An arthroscope can be used for the following:

•Diagnostic Arthroscopy (investigation to find out what is wrong with a knee joint)

•Therapeutic Arthroscopy (correction of an injury or fault within the knee joint).

WHAT ARE THE COMMON PROBLEMS OF KNEE, THAT CAN BE SOLVED BY ARTHROSCOPY?

The knee joint is very easily injured through sports injuries, work related injuries, arthritis or general inflammation or ‘wear and tear’.

Knee Arthroscopy is usually performed in order to investigate and relieve

  • persistent knee pain not relieved by medication or physiotherapy
  • swelling, clicking, catching,
  • instability or ‘giving way’ of a knee joint

HOW IS THE KNEE ARTHROSCOPY CARRIED OUT ?

During the procedure the surgeon makes a small incision on the affected knee joint , and inserts the arthroscope. The arthroscope, being connected to monitor enables the clear view of the damage that has caused to the knee. Depending on the severity of the damage , the surgeons decide whether to proceed further or not. If the surgeon decides to proceed , fluid is then inserted into the joint to

distend the joint and to allow for the visualization of the structures within that joint on a television monitor. Few more small incisions are made to insert the surgical instruments that are used to fix or remove the damaged tissues from the knee. Once the procedure is completed the incisions are stitched together. The whole procedure is carried out under anesthesia. Local, regional, or general anesthesia can be given.

WHAT ALL PROCEDURES CAN BE CARRIED OUT BY KNEE ARTHROSCOPY?

  • Torn floating cartilage (meniscus): The cartilage is trimmed to a stable rim or occasionally repaired
  • Reconstruction of the Anterior/Posterior Cruciate ligament
  • Torn surface (articular) cartilage can be repaired/replaced
  • Removal of loose bodies (cartilage or bone that has broken off)
  • Patello-femoral (knee-cap) disorders
  • Osteo-chondral defects of femoral condyle
  • Removal of inflamed synovium (Synovectomy)
  • Washout of infected knees
  • General diagnostic purposes

HOW MUCH TIME IT TAKE TO CARRY OUT THESE PROCEDURES?

Generally these procedures last from 30-90 minutes. It is a day care surgery. Patient has to stay in hospital maximum for 2 days.

WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF KNEE ARTHROSCOPY OVER OPEN KNEE SURGERIES?

  • Patient can start exercises same day, so recovery is faster
  • The incisions are very small
  • Patient can regain full range of knee movement
  • Hospital stay is much less
  • No scar marks after surgery

HOW BIG THE INCISION IS MADE?

The surgical incisions are even less than an inch, which are closed with a simple sticky dressing and absorbable stitches. No scar mark is left after surgery.

WHAT IS THE RECOVERY AFTER SURGERY LIKE?

Patient has to take some simple precautions and do regular exercises, which can be done by the patient himself or with the help of physiotherapist.

HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I AM A SUITABLE CANDIDATE FOR KNEE ARTHROSCOPY?

At an arthroscopy centre, Arthroscopy Surgeon carries out a full evaluation of your individual needs and circumstances, provide you with a comprehensive verbal and written explanation of your condition and recommend the most appropriate solution to improve your condition. However people suffering from the following conditions are recommended for knee arthroscopy.

•Torn or damaged cartilages

•knee cap displacement

•Inflamed synovium lining of the knee joint.

•Damaged or torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or (PCL) respectively.

•Patients having a cyst behind the knee are also recommended for knee arthroscopy.

WHAT ARE THE RISKS INVOLVED?

Some of the risks associated with the knee arthroscopy are:

•Formation of the blood clots in the knee.

•Bleeding into the knee joint

•Infection at the site of surgery.

•Stiffness of the joint

•Nerve damage

•Anesthesia associated risks can cause breathlessness or allergic reactions in some patients.

HOW WORTHWHILE WOULD BE THE KNEE ARTHROSCOPY?

After the knee arthroscopy ,one can expect a relief from chronic pain of knee joints. Full recovery following the knee arthroscopy depends on the type of damage for which the surgery was performed.

Usually damaged or torn cartilages and inflamed synovium lining are fully recovered and the patients resume all the activities with respect to knee. The knees can experience a natural motion. One can carry out their routine activities like walking with much ease.