What is arthroscopic knee surgery & who is a candidate?

Understanding Arthroscopic Knee SurgeryWhat is Arthroscopic Surgery

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fibre-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope", which projects an image to a television screen. Thanks to ongoing improvements made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgery is now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. Active patients all over the world have experienced the benefits of minimally invasive surgical procedures.

Arthroscopy may be used for a variety of knee joint conditions, including a torn meniscus (cartilage in the knee), loose pieces of broken cartilage in the joint, a torn or damaged Anterior or Posterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL/PCL), an inflamed or damaged synovium (the lining of the joint), or a malalignment of the patella (knee cap).

Through an incision the width of a "drinking" straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert an arthroscope, which allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source of your pain. The arthroscope can also help identify tears or other damage that may have been missed by an X-ray or MRI. Your surgeon will then make one or more small incisions to accommodate the instruments used to repair the knee. These instruments can shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the damaged areas.

Arthroscopic knee surgery is often performed in an outpatient hospital or clinic, which means, generally no overnight hospital stay is required. You report to the hospital or clinic in the morning, undergo the procedure, and - following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return home later in the day.  

Who is a Candidate for Arthroscopic Surgery? 

Patients with knee pain or limited knee function may be candidates for arthroscopic knee surgery. Most people who suffer from a knee injury or degeneration and who have not found the relief they need through non-operative treatments may benefit from a minimally invasive surgical procedure.

The information on this website will help you to better understand the anatomy and function of the knee, as well as the effects on the knee of a meniscus tear and ACL damage.  In addition, it will guide you through the steps of arthroscopic knee surgery, which is used to treat these conditions.