At Spire Portsmouth Hospital, we use knee arthroscopy to investigate and treat knee pain and injuries. This includes anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears and other ligament injuries, cartilage damage, meniscal (meniscus) tear and osteoarthritis.
Knee arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery, which uses an arthroscope (a thin, flexible, telescopic instrument) to investigate or treat knee problems.
Sometimes also called
- Meniscal tear surgery
- Cruciate ligament surgery
If you haven’t been diagnosed yet, your consultant will do the following before a knee arthroscopy:
- Discuss what may have happened to cause your symptoms (eg a sports injury or fall)
- Ask about your medical history
- They may recommend using our advanced scanning, imaging and diagnostic technologies to look at your knee to help understand the cause of your pain or mobility issues
Your consultations give you an opportunity to discuss your needs and expectations from your surgery. We can then outline a treatment and care plan that’s tailored to you.
Knee arthroscopy: your procedure
On the day
Before your procedure, you’ll meet your orthopaedic surgeon again and your anaesthetist. Depending on what you’ve agreed upon with your consultant, you’ll either have:
- A general anaesthetic so you’re asleep
- An epidural or spinal anaesthetic, when you can’t feel anything below your waist
- A local anaesthetic so you can’t feel your knee
If you’ve come with a friend or family member, they’re welcome to wait in our lounge while you have your operation.
- Your surgeon will make two or more small incisions into your knee then pass the arthroscope (a thin, flexible, telescopic instrument with a light and a tiny video camera on the end) into your knee joint to view it
- Any damage to cartilage or ligaments will then be repaired, loose bone fragments or scar tissue removed or tissue samples collected if there’s inflammation
Knee arthroscopy: your recovery
After your operation, you may go home on the same day or the following day, depending on the time of your surgery and whether you had any treatment. Your consultant may also explain to you what’s been found and whether they recommend further treatment.
Although there’s less pain after an arthroscopy than with traditional surgery, you’re likely to feel discomfort once the anaesthetic wears off. How long this lasts will depend on:
- The cause of your knee pain
- Whether you had any treatment during the procedure
- If you have an ongoing knee disease or injury needing further treatment
- Your personal pain threshold
You’ll be given painkillers to help you manage over the following days. Your physiotherapist will also give you an exercise plan to help you get active again, plus a guide to how long your recovery will take.