In the late 1970s and early 1980s, arthroscopic surgery became popular, as fiber-optic, scope technology which enables orthopedic surgeons to see inside the knee cavity utilizing a small telescope, called an “arthroscope,” which projects and illuminates an image to a television monitor.
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 several incision points, your surgeon is able to insert a scope, a retractor to collect items and a cannula to allow him or her to inspect your joint and locate the source of your pain. The scope may assist the surgeon in identifying tears, damaged cartilage or other knee joint damage that may have been overlooked on a diagnostic examination (MRI or X-ray). Instruments utilized during these procedures may shave, trim, cut, stitch, or smooth the damaged areas around the knee.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is often performed in an outpatient setting, which means no overnight hospital stay is required.
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 Peninsula Bone & Joint Clinic surgeon will likely provide further details regarding postoperative care for your specific procedure.
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.