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What is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that can diagnose or treat any complication related to the knee joint. This includes issues that can not be solved through other methods like medications and exercise. In this process, a camera(known as an arthroscope) is inserted into the knee to investigate the issue and proceed with any operation that is required.
What are the Benefits of Knee Arthroscopy?
- Less painful
- Non-invasive procedure
- Recovery time is less
- Small Incision and less bleeding
- Less scarring
- Lesser risk of infection
- Diagnostic uses include:
Consistent joint pain and stiffness
Floating fragments of cartilage or bone
Fluid buildup which needs to be drained
Who needs Knee Arthroscopy?
You might need knee arthroscopy if: you have:
- Problems related to knee cap or meniscus
- Torn ligaments
- Damaged or torn cartilage
- Removing pieces of bones or cartilage that might be hindering the movement of the knee joint
- Synovial fluids getting accumulated in a particular region
How is Knee Arthroscopy done?
Before beginning with the procedure you will be given anaesthesia which can be:
- Local: the anaesthesia is confined to your knee only, the anaesthesia does not make you fall to sleep
- Regional: the anaesthesia is applied to your spine region so that you lose all your senses below your waist
- General: This is applied to make you unconscious completely.
You must remember that in the initial two, anaesthesia does not make you completely unconscious, so in those cases, you might be able to watch the procedure on the computer screen.
As stated earlier, this procedure entails the surgeon making one or two fine cuts/incisions in the skin above the knee joint, through which the arthroscope is inserted to provide the surgeon with a better view of the knee joint, allowing him to accurately assess the situation inside the joint and proceed accordingly.
Before the surgery
- You will most likely be advised by the doctor on everything related to the preoperative phase.
- This may include certain exercises and discussion over all over the counter or supplementary medicines.
- You will be required to stop consuming certain medications like aspirin for some days before the procedure.
- You might be told to take general health checkups, blood tests to pinpoint any issue that might interfere with the procedure.
- Most probably, you will be advised to stop eating or drinking 12 hours before the operation.
During the surgery
- Anaesthesia is provided initially as discussed before.
- Saline water is pumped into the joint, which makes the knee more swollen, thus making the process of surgery easier for the surgeon.
- To avoid excessive and uncontrollable blood loss during surgery, a cuff-like apparatus may be put around your leg.
- A pair of cuts are made on the skin of the knee region so that the arthroscope and other instruments related to the surgery can be inserted.
- The video of the interior structure of your knee captured by the camera will be presented on a computer screen, allowing the surgeon to thoroughly examine the joint without having to make significant cuts and proceed with the procedure.
- After the complication has been fixed, the saline water is drained out of the joint.
- After completion, the incisions are closed using stitches by the surgeon.
- For most people, the time taken to complete the surgery is not over an hour.
What are Risks and Complications of Knee Arthroscopy?
- Post-operation, you might face some issues related to:
- Reaction due to anaesthesia.
- Excessive or uncontrollable blood loss during the operation.
- Infection around the incisions.
- Blood clots inside the joint.
- Internal bleeding.
- Knee stiffness.
- Damage inflicted to the nerves, meniscus cartilage, ligament present in the knee joint.