What is Arthroscopy of the Knee?

Knee SurgeonIn an earlier time, open knee surgery was the primary option for diagnosis and treatment of joint problems. The highly invasive procedure requires a lengthy incision along with an extended recovery time.

While the open method is still used in certain cases, your knee surgeon can often recommend joint arthroscopy for diagnosis, treatment or both. The following is what you should know about this effective, minimally invasive procedure.

What is arthroscopy?

The procedure takes its name from the main piece of equipment used in the surgery. An arthroscope is a small, high-resolution camera that is roughly the size of a pencil. Only a minor incision is needed to insert the arthroscope into the knee, where it transmits images to high-definition monitors that give the knee surgeon a clear, unobstructed look.

Once a diagnosis has been reached, the knee surgeon may be able to treat the problem arthroscopically as well. Another minor incision is made to accommodate tiny instruments such as lasers or scissors. Once the procedure is over and the incisions are closed, you are generally able to return home the same day.

What knee issues are treated with arthroscopy?

Arthroscopic surgery is appropriate for a number of common knee injuries and conditions, including:

  • Tears in the meniscus, which serves as a buffer between the knee bones
  • Misaligned patella, or kneecap
  • Damage or swelling in the lining of the knee, called synovium
  • Damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), which often occur as injuries from sports activities

What are the benefits of arthroscopic surgery vs. open surgery?

Since arthroscopy is less invasive, there is a reduced risk of complications like blood clots or infections and recovery time is generally much quicker. Scarring is greatly minimized due to the smaller incisions needed.

Don’t allow knee pain to limit your quality of life. Learn more about arthroscopic surgery and schedule an appointment by visiting our website or calling 602.466.7378.

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