Knee arthroscopy is a common surgical procedure in which the knee joint is viewed using a tiny camera. This procedure allows the doctors to have a proper view of the inside of the knee accordingly helping them to diagnose and treat the problem.
With technical advancement and the availability of advanced HD monitors and HRD cameras these days, arthroscopy has proved to be a very efficient tool to treat any kind of knee problems. A survey done by the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine suggests that a total of 4 million arthroscopies take place every year.
Arthroscopy is done by making small incisions into the body. An orthopedic surgeon inserts the arthroscope into the knee joint, which sends photographs to a monitor. The surgeon is now able to see the knee structure minutely in the monitor. The doctor can repair and remove any damage tissue if required by making other incisions around the knee and inserting small surgical instruments.
Preparing for the Surgery
If you are suggested to go for knee arthroscopy surgery, you would require getting a full body checkup done by your family physician before the operation. He would assess your physical condition and suggest accordingly if there is anything that could interfere with the surgery.
It is also important for you to let your surgeon know about any medicines or supplements that you are taking. He may have something to say and may ask you to stop or start certain medicines. It is also possible that he runs a few pre-operative tests on you including EKG or blood counts.
When Knee Arthroscopy is suggested?
Knee Arthroscopy is mostly suggested for:
Repair or removal of torn meniscal cartilage
Trimming of torn pieces of articular cartilage
Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
Complications and Warning Signs
As with any kind of surgery, knee arthroscopy also has its own share of risks involved. However, the chances are quite low and mostly minor and easily treatable.
Accumulation of blood in the knee
Get in touch with your surgeon immediately if any of the following is experienced:
Persistent redness and warmth around the knee
Increased or persistent pain
Swelling in your knee
Growing pain in the calf muscle
Apart from a ligament reconstruction surgery, any knee arthroscopy patient can get back to doing regular physical activities after 6 to 8 weeks and sometimes even sooner. However, activities requiring much physical strength need to be avoided for a longer period. You ought to talk to your surgeon to know when you can start intense physical activities.
The final result of the surgery would very much depend on the degree of damage to your knee. For instance, if the articular cartilage in your knee has completely worn away, it is not possible to get full recovery. Moreover, you need to make changes in your lifestyle, which means limited physical activities and doing low-impact exercises.