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Knee arthroscopy (also called keyhole knee surgery) allows your surgeon to see inside your knee joint using a camera inserted through small cuts in the skin.
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:
- Infection of the surgical site (incision)
- 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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