Knee Arthoscopy

Introduction

Knee arthroscopy is a common procedure used to diagnose problems with the knee. It is performed by an orthopedic surgeon using a small camera, called an arthroscope, to look inside the knee joint. During knee arthroscopy, orthopedic surgeons are able to feel, fix, and remove damaged tissue if necessary.

In order to avoid problems associated with drug interactions, it is important to inform the surgeon of all medications (prescribed or over the counter) and/or supplements that a patient is taking. Patients will also be asked not to eat or drink after midnight the night before your procedure.

When undergoing knee arthroscopy, patients are under anesthesia which can either be local, regional, or general. Local anesthesia affects only the knee, regional anesthesia affects everywhere below the waist, and general anesthesia puts patients to sleep. The patient, the orthopedic surgeon and the anesthesiologist decide together which type of anesthesia is best to use.

Once anesthesia takes effect, small incisions are made in the knee and it is rinsed with a sterile solution. The surgeon inserts the arthroscope and watches as high definition video of the inside of the knee streams to a monitor. Other small surgical tools can be attached if necessary. Knee arthroscopy is typically 15 to 60 minutes in length, depending on the extent of the work that needs to be done.

After surgery, it’s important to keep the leg elevated to minimize swelling and reduce pain. Also, in order to prevent infection, the incisions should be kept clean and dry. Your surgeon will provide specific instructions with regard to walking after knee arthroscopy but typical recovery time is 4 to six weeks

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