Arthroscopy is derived from two Greek words which mean “to look within the joint”. Knee Arthroscopy is a, therefore, as the same suggests, a surgical technique which is performed to see, diagnose and treat problems within the knee joint like a torn meniscus, or misaligned kneecap.
The doctor advises Knee Arthroscopy procedure when all other non-surgical treatments for the knee joint problems have not had any significant betterment.
There many benefits of Knee Arthroscopy as this surgery involves very small incisions, is a rapid healing process and doesn't leave the patient with too many scars in the knee joint area.
If you have been suffering from severe knee pain, your doctor may highly recommend you to undergo Knee Arthroscopy in order to diagnose the problem. Once the exact problem is diagnosed correctly, it is much easier to treat it.
Knee Arthroscopy can be used to:
• Trim torn pieces of articular cartilage.
• Remove loose fragments of bone or cartilage.
• Repair misalignment of the patella (kneecap).
• For a torn anterior cruciate (ACL) reconstruction or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) reconstruction.
• Treat arthritis in younger patients.
• Treat pieces of torn cartilage that are loose in the joint
• Remove Baker’s cyst, which is a swollen bursa behind the knee that fills with fluid causing pain.
• Treat fractures in the knee bones
• Remove swollen synovium (the lining in the joint)
Before the Knee Arthroscopy, the doctor employs an anaesthetic (local or general) to numb the part to be operated on in order to ensure a painless surgery. Soon after the anaesthesia has completely kicked in, the doctor considers it safe to start with the surgical procedure.
The doctor makes some very small cuts in the knee area where liquids like sterile salt water or saline are pumped in the knee to expand it. Once the knee is expanded, it becomes easier for the doctor to view the joint. The arthroscope is made to enter one of the cuts made so that that the doctor can look around the knee joint problem using the camera, which produces images on the connected monitor.
Once the problem in the knee joint is diagnosed, the doctor conducts the knee surgery where he may use small tools and would insert them through the same incisions to correct the tissue. After this knee surgery, the doctor drains the salt water and closes the small incisions with stitches or sutures.
Knee Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive and generally a safe procedure with minimal patient risk. The procedure takes about an hour and you can be discharged the same day right after surgery as it is an outpatient process. However, there are some risks associated with every surgery. Some of the rare risks associated with Knee Arthroscopy are:
• infection in the knee joint.
• allergic reaction
• Knee stiffness following the procedure
• Severe pain – rare
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