Benefits of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

If you have knee problems, then your orthopedic surgeon may want to perform arthroscopic surgery. This modern procedure is highly effective. It also has fewer risks and complications than traditional surgery. It can be used both to more accurately diagnose an issue or treat it. Here is more information about arthroscopic knee surgery, its benefits, and its complications.

Why Is Arthroscopic Surgery Performed?

The doctor may prescribe arthroscopic knee surgery because the x-rays don't give a full view of your problem. The surgeon can also make repairs to damaged tissues at the same time as making the diagnosis. Some of the most common reasons for arthroscopic surgery include:

  • Cyst removal
  • Repair of the torn meniscus
  • Tendon and ligament repair
  • Microfracture repair
  • Kneecap repositioning
  • Cartilage repair

What Is the Arthroscopic Surgery Procedure Like?

The surgeon usually performs the surgery under local or regional anesthesia for short procedures. For longer and more complicated procedures, you may be given general anesthesia. The surgeon makes small cuts to insert a camera and surgery tools into the knee. After the surgeon repairs the joint, your incisions are either stitched or taped up. Then, you are sent to the recovery area. You will need a ride home as you won't be able to drive for a while.

What Are the Benefits of Arthroscopic Surgery?

Because the incisions are small and tissue trauma is small, you have a smaller chance of infection and a greater chance of faster healing. You should also have less severe pain. You'll also have fewer complications from anesthesia if the surgeon uses only local anesthesia. If you have a scar, it will be smaller and less visible than the large scar of traditional surgery.

What Are the Complications of Arthroscopic Surgery?

Complications for this type of surgery are few, but they do exist. With any incision, even a small one, you have the risk of infection and bleeding. You could also be allergic to some of the medications or anesthesia. There is also a risk of collateral tissue damage from the instruments. Blood clots are usually not a problem in shorter procedures but could be a risk with longer, more invasive ones.

After the surgery, your doctor will give you a list of aftercare instructions. You may need to make minor lifestyle changes so you don't re-injure your knee after surgery. You will also need to follow up with your surgeon to ensure your knee heals correctly and determine whether you need another procedure. If you have knee pain, talk to an orthopedic doctor or surgeon to see your available options.