What Is Knee Arthroscopic Surgery?

You may have heard of knee arthroscopy from your doctor if you find yourself having knee problems beyond the normal aches and pains. Knee arthroscopy is a medical term that sounds quite serious and possibly frightening, but once you learn more about it, you will see it's not as bad as it sounds.

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is a procedure that doctors use to find and diagnose problems in your knees. A single incision is made in the knee so that a small camera can fit inside your knee. This camera is called the arthroscope, hence the name of the procedure. The camera transmits images to a screen that the surgeon uses to look inside your knee without ever having to perform invasive surgery. 

There are small tools that can be used with the arthroscope that make it possible for the doctor to correct small problems that the camera may find during its investigation. For example, it can help repair ligaments.

Do You Need a Knee Arthroscopy?

The most important thing to remember is that your doctor has performed this procedure and has your best interests in mind. If they suggest that you have a knee arthroscopy, they believe that you will benefit from one.

Some of the problems that the arthroscopic procedure can find and correct include

  • Loose cartilage in the joint
  • Knee bone fractures
  • Misplaced patella
  • Torn ligaments
  • Baker's cyst removal
  • Torn meniscus

Does the Procedure Hurt?

You will be administered an anesthetic so you are awake but comfortable during the procedure. You will either have a local anesthetic that only numbs your knee or you will have a regional anesthetic that numbs from the waist down. Some people may require a general anesthetic, or request one, so that they are asleep during the procedure.

The small incisions are made after you are numb, so you don't even have to worry about feeling that pain. Salt water is pumped into your knee to expand it so that the camera can move around easier and the surgeon can see better. You won't feel any pain from this step either.

If a problem is found that can be corrected during this procedure, small tools are inserted through the same cut that the camera entered. The issue is corrected without major surgery or any invasive techniques. Your knee is then drained and the incisions are stitched shut.

Now that you know what a knee arthroscopy is, why you might need one, and how it works, you can enter the procedure with peace of mind. For more information, talk to a professional like Framingham Orthopedic Associates.