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Your Nuffield Health surgeon can diagnose problems such as a torn cartilage, ligament damage and arthritis by carrying out knee arthroscopy surgery.

What happens during knee arthroscopy?

  • Knee arthroscopy is usually done under general anaesthetic
  • The operation usually takes between half an hour and three-quarters of an hour
  • Your surgeon will make 2 or 3 small incisions and insert a tiny camera to examine the inside of your knee
  • They will wash out any loose material caused by wear of the joint surfaces
  • It is usually possible for your surgeon to trim or repair a torn cartilage without needing to make a larger cut.

After the knee operation

  • Once your knee arthroscopy operation is over, you’ll be taken to the recovery room
  • Here you will wake from the anaesthetic
  • Your wounds, blood pressure and pulse will be checked carefully
  • You should be able to go home the same day as your operation
  • You won’t be able to drive, so you will need to arrange for someone to take you home from hospital once discharged.

How soon will I recover from knee arthroscopy surgery?

  • Depending on the level of repair done the arthroscopy procedure causes very little tissue damage
  • Most patients recovery fairly quickly
  • Your knee will be swollen and sore for the first week following your arthroscopy
  • Most patients return to normal activity levels within 2 - 3 weeks
  • Be sure and discuss any concerns regarding your recovery with your orthopaedic surgeon.

Most people make a good recovery and return to normal activities following knee arthroscopy. As with any surgery there can be complications:

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (incision)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots (DVT - deep vein thrombosis)
  • Difficulty passing urine.

Specific complications of knee arthroscopy might include:

  • Damage to the nerves around the knee
  • Developing a lump under the wounds
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee.
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