Knee Arthroscopy

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Overview

The arthroscope is a fibre-optic telescope that can be inserted into the knee joint to evaluate and treat a number of conditions. A camera is attached to the arthroscope and the picture is visualized on a TV monitor. Most arthroscopic surgery is performed as day surgery and is usually done under general anaesthesia. Knee arthroscopy is common, and many thousands of procedures are performed each year around the world to treat knee problems.

Indications for surgery

Some of the knee conditions treated using arthroscopic surgery includes:

 

  • Meniscal tears
  • Loose bodies
  • Articular cartilage (surface) injury
  • Anterior cruciate ligament Injuries
  • Patella (knee-cap) injuries
  • Inflammatory arthritis of knee
  • Soft tissue impingement

Surgery

Please stop taking Aspirin and Anti-inflammatory medications 10 days prior to your surgery. You can continue taking all your other routine medication unless directed otherwise by Dr Klar. If you smoke you are advised to stop prior to your surgery.

You will be admitted on the day of surgery and need to remain fasted for 6 hours prior to the procedure.

The limb undergoing the procedure will be marked and identified prior to the anaesthetic being administered.

Once you are under anaesthetic, the knee is prepared in a sterile fashion. A tourniquet is placed around the thigh to allow a ‘blood – free’ procedure.

The arthroscope is introduced through a small incision on the outer side of the knee. A second incision on the inner side of the knee is made to introduce the instruments that allow examination of the joint and treatment of the problem.

Post operation

  • Pain medication will be provided and should be taken as directed if required
  • You can remove the bandage in 24 hours and place waterproof dressings (provided) over the wounds
  • It is normal for the knee to swell after the surgery. Elevating the leg when you are seated and placing ice packs on the knee will help to reduce swelling. Use ice for 20 minutes every 2 hours.
  • You are able to drive and return to work after 1 week unless otherwise instructed. You should not operate a vehicle if still using pain medications.
  • You will be given an appointment 10-12 days after surgery to monitor your progress and remove the stitches from your knee

Risks and complications

Risks related to arthroscopic knee surgery include

  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Deep vein thrombosis or lung clots called pulmonary emboli
  • Infection
  • Stiffness
  • Numbness to part of the skin near the incisions
  • Injury to vessels, nerves and chronic pain
  • Progression of the disease process. For example, if there is arthritis found in your knee this may worsen over time.
  • Unsightly or thickened scars
  • Complex regional pain syndrome

Rehabilitation

Following your surgery, you will be given an instruction sheet showing exercises and phyisical therapy that are helpful in speeding up your recovery. Strengthening your thigh muscles (Quadriceps and Hamstrings) is most important. Swimming and cycling (stationary or road) are excellent ways to build these muscles up and improve movement. Physio is recommended if your progress is slow.

Make an Appointment

Make an appointment online for a consultation at
Canberra Knee Clinic.

Not in Canberra? Call us to book your appointment at
our Goulburn or Moruya clinic.

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