Significant Facts about Knee Arthroscopy

Friday, 23 June 2017

The word arthroscopy is derived from the two Greek words “Arthro” which stand for joint, and “Skopein” which means to look at. Arthroscopic surgeries are carried out for numerous different joints including the knee, elbow and shoulder. Knee arthroscopy allows an orthopedic surgeon to visualize, do a diagnosis and treat problems inside the knee joint. Your specialist may recommend knee arthroscopy if you are going through a condition which does not respond to non-surgical (conservative) treatments.

History of Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy of the knee was developed in the year 1970s and came into general use in the year 1980s. Moreover, arthroscopic instruments or devices were created and refined for specific surgical tasks during knee surgeries and diagnosis purpose.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

This process is used in examination and repair of several different types of conditions such as; a meniscal tear, ACL tears with instability, chondromalacia (wear and damage of cartilage cushion), bone spurs formation, synovial tissue damage due to Rheumatoid Arthritis to name a few. In a knee arthroscopy process, the surgeon typically first observes the damaged parts and then may decide to carry out the minor surgical technique to remove the diseased part.

Indications for Knee Arthroscopy

According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than five million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.

Knee arthroscopy is commonly used for:
  • To repair or remove torn meniscal cartilage which cushions the space between the bones in the knee
  • Trim torn pieces of articular cartilage
  • Repair misalignment of the patella (kneecap)
  • Reconstruct a torn ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) or PCL (Posterior Cruciate Ligament)
  • Remove inflamed synovial tissue which lines the knee in patients with rheumatoid arthritis
  • Removal of a swollen bursa (Baker’s cyst) behind the knee that fills with fluid causing inflammation
  • Remove loose fragments/bodies of bone or cartilage
  • Used for arthritis treatment in younger patients.
Risks and Complications of Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic knee surgery is safe for the treatment of knee injuries, but there are some risks that we should consider. Risks and complications may include:

  •        Bleeding into the joint (after surgery)
  •      Compartment syndrome
  •      Injury to a blood vessel or nerve
  •      Knee stiffness following the procedure
  •      Blood clot formation in the leg
  •         Damage to the meniscus, cartilage, and ligaments in the knee
  •      Infection in the knee joint
Recovery Time for Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Each person recovers after arthroscopic knee surgery at a different pace. If required, patients use crutches or a walker for one to four days after surgery. If the pain is minimal, then you do not have to use any crutches or a walker. It takes up to six weeks for the knee to restore and get back to normal. There is a high degree of variability in recovery process. Some patients can return to normal activities within two to three weeks.


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