Knee arthroscopy

During the arthroscopy (joint endoscopy), an arthroscope – consisting of rod lenses, a lamp, and a rinsing and suction device – is inserted into the affected joint in order to examine the type of injury and establish the appropriate course of treatment.

Knee arthroscopy is also used as a treatment method for minor injuries.

Treatment

Arthroscopic surgery can be performed on any joint.

It is used most commonly in the knee, shoulder, and ankle, and slightly less frequently in the hip, elbow, and other joints.

What are the advantages of arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that tends to cover minor injuries.

Compared to open surgery, arthroscopy has the following advantages:

  • less stress on the body
  • less pain following the procedure
  • shorter recovery/healing times
  • faster return to everyday activities

When is arthroscopy recommended?

Arthroscopy is used when conservative measures have not been sufficiently successful. Arthroscopy can be used to treat the following injuries:

Arthroscopy takes between 45 and 90 minutes and is performed in an operating room. The operation is performed under partial anaesthesia.

The optical instruments are inserted through a small incision. A sterile saline solution is then injected into the knee joint via the same cannula. This makes the joint interior more easily visible, allowing the surgeon to examine and assess the interior of the joint and the surgical site.

Aftercare

As knee arthroscopy is usually a relatively low-stress procedure, neither the surgery nor the aftercare is time-consuming.

Aftercare includes exercises to strengthen and mobilise the knee joint, as well as regular visits to the physiotherapist.

Crutches only need to be used for two to three days to reduce the stress on the knee.

FAQs

When can you go back to work after a knee arthroscopy?

Light activities, such as sitting, can be resumed after about three weeks.  Moderate and heavy physical labour can be resumed after four to six weeks.

How long do you have to use crutches for after a knee arthroscopy?

Crutches are used for two to three days after surgery to reduce the stress on the knee.

How many days after a knee arthroscopy operation can you drive again?

Every patient has a different recovery time, but most can drive again after a week.

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