Knee arthroscopy


A variety of knee injuries are diagnosed and treated by doctors using knee arthroscopy. Your doctor makes an incision and inserts a tiny camera during arthroscopic knee surgery. Your knee’s interior is visible on the camera. The pictures are displayed on a screen in the operation room. They aid in the diagnosis of knee-related issues by your doctor.

Knee arthroscopy is a common minimally invasive surgical procedure. Smaller incisions (cuts) are needed for minimally invasive procedures than for standard surgery. The wounds are roughly the size of keyholes. Your doctor puts tiny tools through another incision to treat injuries or structural issues. The tools are used to either remove or restore damaged tissue.

If nonsurgical therapy for your knee pain are ineffective, your doctor may advise knee arthroscopy. Rest, ice, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications, and physical therapy (PT) are examples of nonsurgical therapies. Even though osteoarthritis can cause knee pain, arthroscopic knee surgery isn’t always a successful solution.

In order to gain a better look at the soft tissues, bones, and cartilage inside of your knee, medical professionals use arthroscopy. The process is used to identify various kinds of knee injury. The ligaments and cartilage in your knee joint are most commonly injured.

Athletes, including teens, frequently suffer knee injuries. They can occur in jumping sports like volleyball as well as contact sports.

Reasons for undergoing the procedure

Knee arthroscopy is performed by doctors for the following conditions:

  • Soft tissue injuries: Ligaments and tendons are examples of soft tissues; they join one bone to another and muscles to bones, respectively. The most frequent knee injuries include bursitis, torn meniscus, patellar tendinitis, tears of the Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL), and the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL).
  • Fracture: Inside of your knee, bones may fracture or come off. When a bone breaks, cartilage—the supple substance that allows bones to glide past one another—can occasionally break off.
  • Inflammation: A joint’s synovium may experience inflammation (swelling and irritation). Inside a joint, there is soft tissue called synovium. This illness is known as synovitis among medical professionals.


Knee arthroscopy complications are quite rare. Knee arthroscopy has the same risks associated with any surgery, such as bleeding and infection.

After the surgery, some people may have stiffness of the knee, blood clots, or rarely pooling of blood in the knee which makes it swollen.

Before the procedure

Inform your doctor about the medications you’re taking prior to having a knee arthroscopy. Before surgery, you might need to stop taking some drugs (such blood thinners). The time you should cease eating and drinking the night before your treatment will also be specified by your healthcare practitioner.

Knee arthroscopy can be performed at a hospital or a surgery clinic. Your doctor will administer anaesthetic just prior to the surgery. When having knee surgery, you won’t experience any discomfort, whether you’re awake or not. Your doctor might advise you to have:

  • A local anesthetic to make the region numb.
  • A regional anesthetic that will numb your lower body.
  • A general anesthetic, which will make you unconscious during the procedure.

During the procedure

Your doctor will do the following during the procedure:

  1. Scrubs your leg and places a stabilizing device around your knee. Your knee will remain in the correct position during the treatment thanks to the gadget.
  2.  Cuts a tiny hole in your knee and inserts an arthroscope, a long metal instrument, into the hole. On the end of the arthroscope is a camera. On a screen in the operating room, images captured by the camera are displayed.
  3. Observes the images displayed on the monitor and makes use of them to identify injuries and direct the process. Your doctor makes more incisions in your knee and inserts tiny tools through them if surgery is necessary.
  4. Rebuilds torn tissues, eliminates inflammatory or damaged tissues, and removes damaged bone or cartilage. For these duties, your healthcare professional use equipment that were especially created.
  5. Use stitches or tiny bandages to close the wounds and cover your knee with a wider bandage or dressing.

After the procedure

The majority of knee arthroscopies are day surgery procedures that let you return home the same day. They often last an hour. An inpatient treatment, knee arthroscopy occasionally calls for a hospital stay.

You’ll require a driver when you’re prepared to return home. You’ll have some pain following surgery. Following your surgery, while you are still healing, you should:

  • For a few days, refrain from putting any weight on your knee. To go around, you might require crutches or a walker.
  • Resting with your leg elevated will help to minimize swelling and relieve pain. Try to maintain a knee over the heart.
  • NSAIDs (over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) or painkillers on prescription may be suggested by your healthcare professional. When using painkillers, be careful to follow the directions provided by your doctor. You might also require medication to lessen swelling or prevent blood clots.
  • Keep the area tidy and make sure the bandage stays on your knee. After your procedure, find out from your healthcare practitioner when you can take off the dressing and bathe or take a shower.

Your doctor could advise physical therapy (PT) once you’ve had time to recover from the treatment. You can improve your strength and mobility with the aid of a personalized PT program. Your physical therapist will demonstrate specific exercises to you so that you can become more flexible, strengthen the muscles supporting your knee, and prevent further injury.


The impact of surgery varies from person to person. It’s crucial to consult your healthcare provider to determine when you can safely return to your usual activities, such as driving and walking without assistance. Your doctor may recommend waiting a few weeks before engaging in more strenuous physical activities.

Sometimes, people need to make lifestyle adjustments after surgery. Certain activities, like running or jumping, can potentially damage your knee. To protect your knee, consider opting for lower-impact sports and activities. Discuss your options with your healthcare provider to find activities that are gentler on your knees.