KNEE ARTHROSCOPY

What is it?
This is “keyhole” surgery, whereby Mr Waters looks inside the knee with a telescope and can perform procedures to the cartilages (menisci) or joint surface. It is also used as part of ligament reconstruction of the knee and techniques to stimulate repair of damaged areas.

Why am I having it?

This procedure is most commonly performed to treat tears of the menisci (the flexible cartilages in the knee), to smooth out the damaged surface of the joint or to assess the degree of damage in the knee. If there is an area where the normal smooth cartilage coating the joint is worn away, a “microfracture” technique may be used to encourage the formation of scar tissue to cover the damaged area.

What will actually happen?

This is usually performed as a day case – so you are home the same day. You will be contacted by the hospital to arrange the admitting time. You will need to stop eating 6 hours before the procedure. It is usually performed under a general anaesthetic i.e. you are asleep for the procedure. You will meet the anaesthetist soon after being admitted.

During the operation, a tourniquet is placed around the thigh, and the skin is prepared with an antibacterial solution (iodine & surgical spirit). Two small stab incisions are made at the front of the knee and the knee is filled with a saline solution. Usually, no stitches are used the wounds are covered with simple paper dressings (Steristrips) and a bandage is applied. Local anaesthetic is inserted in the knee so that it is comfortable when you wake up. The procedure takes between 20 minutes to an hour.


What happens after the operation?

Once you are awake and had something to drink, you will able to get up and walk around. It may be a little uncomfortable but there are usually no restrictions. The physiotherapist will see you and check your ability - occasionally you may need crutches.
The bandage can come off after a couple of days. Leave the paper dressings until they fall off after about 10 days. The knee will be a bit puffy for a while – usually a couple of weeks but sometimes longer. Out-patient physiotherapy will be arranged and an appropriate rehabilitation regime organised. Mr Waters will usually see you six weeks following the procedure.

How long will I need off work?

This is variable and depends really on the nature of your work. For most people employed in desk jobs it will mean around 2 weeks off. If you perform a more manual job it may mean a little longer. You can usually drive at 2 weeks.

Any more questions?

Please contact us if you have any other questions about this or any other procedure.