What is Knee Arthroscopy?

shutterstock_19723270Knee arthroscopy is a technique used to diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. Arthroscopies can be used on many different parts of the body. What happens is your surgeon makes a tiny incision and inserts a small camera (called an arthroscopy, hence the name of the treatment) into the body, in the case in the knee. This allows the doctor to see the inside of the joint on a screen, big and clear. The problem can then be investigated and, if needed, corrected using small instruments that are in the camera.

Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose many different problems with the knee, like a misaligned kneecap or a torn meniscus. It can even help repair ligaments in the joint. There are some limited risks to the procedure, but the outcome for most patients is good. Your exact prognosis and recovery time will depend on how severe your knee problem is and how complex the needed treatment is.

But when do you get an arthroscopy? Your doctor may recommend you for an knee arthroscopy if you are experiencing severe knee pain with an unknown cause. Say you hurt your knee playing a sport. You know it’s something serious, but aren’t sure what is wrong exactly, so you go see your doctor. Your doctor might even already have an idea of what is causing the pain, but an arthroscopy can help give or confirm a correct diagnosis. Either way, it is very useful procedure.

The especially great thing about an arthroscopy is that, as already mentioned, often the needed repairs can be made at the same time as the diagnosis. Why have two different surgeries if one will do the trick? Of course, there may be circumstances when more extensive treatment is required, but a lot of the time the doctor can fix the problem right after he or she finds out what it is by using the small tools attached to the camera.

There are many knee injuries which can be diagnosed and fixed with arthroscopy surgery. These include:

  • Torn meniscus.
  • Torn posterior or anterior cruciate ligaments.
  • Torn pieces of cartilage which are loose in the joint.
  • Out-of-position patella.
  • Knee bone fractures.
  • Removing a Baker’s cyst.
  • Swollen synovium.

If you are experiencing any kind of knee pain, get it checked out today!