Knee arthroscopy has attracted signiﬁcant attention over the last 5 years predominantly from the fund providers. It is a high volume procedure within the Just Knees specialised practice and yields high patient satisfaction and outcome rates if certain principles are applied.
The commonest pathological conditions treated by an arthroscopy include torn menisci, articular lining problems and ligament reconstruction.
Patient selection is vital in order to achieve good pain relief and return to function. This selection involves clinical assessment focusing on speciﬁc symptoms and signs, appropriate radiological imaging and the correlation of these so an accurate diagnosis can be made. It is only when the above principles are applied that the potential of a knee arthroscopy can be discussed and recommended.
- A knee arthroscopy is performed as day surgery under a general anaesthetic.
- 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
All patients within the Just Knees practice receive a copy of their intra-operative photographic ﬁndings both before and after the arthroscopic procedure has been performed. This information enables the patient to have an understanding of the problem being solved, how it has been solved and the techniques used. The pictures also enable accurate communication with other health care providers (physiotherapists) to achieve the appropriate post operative 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
- Following of instructions of your physiotherapist led exercise plan
As a general rule meniscal surgery usually allows for a quick, predictable ﬁx of the pathology whereas articular lining surgery (chondroplasty) is less predictable and needs a longer rehabilitation programme.