Knee arthroscopy is one of the most common surgical procedures and is used to treat degenerative diseases such as osteoarthritis and meniscal problems. Knee arthroscopy is performed to diagnose problems relating to joint pain, knee pain, damaged cartilage and the build-up of fluid in the joints.
Before you decide to undergo knee arthroscopy, your orthopaedic surgeon will perform an evaluation to check that it is the best option for you and that you are a suitable candidate for the procedure. It is important to note that post-operative rehabilitation is an essential part of the process. After a thorough physical examination, including x-rays and possibly an MRI scan, your doctor will let you know if knee surgery is the best option.
Knee arthroscopic surgery is used to diagnose and treat torn cartilage between the bones and knee, a misplaced patella, torn cartilage within the joint, knee bone fractures, swollen lining in the joint and lumps at the back of the knee or calf caused by meniscus or arthritis, commonly known as Baker’s cyst.
Knee injuries often result in a meniscus tear and require meniscus surgery. A meniscus tear is one of the most common knee injuries caused by physical activity leading to a twist or rotation of the knee. RICE treatment (rest, ice, compression and elevation) may help with minor meniscus tears, but surgery is needed in more severe cases. During meniscus tear surgery, torn knee cartilage is repaired using minimally invasive techniques.
During arthroscopic knee surgery, the doctor makes small incisions in your knee. A saline solution is used to expand the surgical area of the knee, and the arthroscopic camera projects images of the interior of the joint on a monitor in the operating room. Small tools are used to correct any issues found. The saline solution is drained from the joint, and the cut is closed with stitches.
Your recovery time will depend on the severity of your knee injury. Your orthopaedic surgeon will be able to inform you about rehabilitation, physical therapy, and any lifestyle changes that might be required.
After the arthroscopic knee surgery is complete, it is quite likely that you will need to see a physiotherapist. He or she will help you to understand any limitations or precautions you need to take while you recover. Your doctor will prescribe 24 hours of antibiotics for you – this is to decrease the risk of infection. You will also be given some pain medication directly after the procedure to relieve any discomfort.
It is important to remember that it can take time for you to recover from your knee surgery properly, and you will not be fully mobile immediately after the procedure is complete. It is essential that you give yourself adequate time to heal. Your recovery time will depend very much on how severe your knee injury is, and your doctor will advise you on the best recovery plan for your unique needs. It is important to remember that arthroscopic surgery is only the beginning, especially when ligament injuries are concerned. Arthroscopic surgery may be seen as the gateway to a safe but rigorous rehabilitation program, which is crucial for both your healing and functional recovery.