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Arthroscopic Knee Surgery


 

What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, especially in the sports world, as fiber-optic technology enabled surgeons to see inside the body using a small telescope, called an "arthroscope," which projects an image to a television monitor. Thanks to ongoing improvements made by technology leaders like Smith & Nephew, arthroscopic surgery is now accessible to more people than just professional athletes. In fact, 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, 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 straw tip, your surgeon is able to insert a scope, which allows him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source of your pain. The scope 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 surgery center, which means no overnight hospital stay is required. Patients report to the surgical center in the morning, undergo the procedure, and - following a recovery period under the care of medical professionals - return home later in the day.

Postoperative Care

After surgery, you will be transported to the recovery room for close observation of your vital signs and circulation. You may remain in the recovery room for a few hours.

When you leave the hospital, your knee will be covered with a bandage, and you may be instructed to walk with the assistance of crutches. You also may be instructed to ice or elevate your knee.

Your surgeon will likely provide further details regarding postoperative care for your specific procedure.

Rehabilitation

Steps for rehabilitation following a meniscus repair or an ACL procedure vary from physician to physician. To learn what activities will be involved in your own rehabilitation, consult your orthopedic specialist.

Reasons For Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Minimally invasive knee surgery is a positive measure to regain your active lifestyle, which knee damage has negatively affected over a period of weeks, months or even years.

Arthroscopic surgery can:

  • Relieve pain.

  • Improve joint stability.

  • Repair tears and damage.

  • Maximize quality of life.

  • Optimize activities of daily living.

Who Is A Candidate For Arthroscopic Knee 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 nonoperative treatments can benefit from a minimally invasive procedure.

The information in this site 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.

Preparation For Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Preparation for your surgery begins weeks and sometimes months before the surgery date. Here are just a few events and considerations you may experience:

Initial Surgical Consultation. Preoperative X-rays, a complete medical history, a complete surgical history, and a complete list of all medications (i.e., prescription, over-the-counter, vitamin supplements) and allergies will be reviewed.

Complete Physical Examination. Your surgeon will perform a physical examination and determine if your internist or family physician should assist with optimization of medical conditions prior to the surgery. This will ensure that you are in the best physical condition possible on surgery day.

Physical Therapy. In some cases, instruction in an exercise program to begin prior to surgery, as well as an overview of the rehabilitation process after surgery, will better prepare you for postoperative care.

Preparation for Surgery. You may want to wear loose-fitting clothes or sweat pants, and also bring crutches. You should bring your insurance information and a list of all your medications and dosages as well as drug allergies. You will need to arrange for someone to drive you home.

Evening Before Surgery. Do not eat or drink after midnight. Your surgeon or anesthesia provider may recommend that you take some of your routine prescription medications with a sip of water.

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