Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

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What is arthroscopic knee surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery, also known as knee arthroscopy, is a minimally invasive knee surgery performed using a small camera (an arthroscope) that provides real-time images of the inside of the knee joint. Orthopedic surgeons may use knee arthroscopy to help diagnose and treat joint conditions or injuries in the knee.

Why is arthroscopic knee surgery performed?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure that can be performed to aid in many knee surgeries. It is commonly used to view the inside of the knee and diagnose joint injuries or conditions, such as meniscus injuries.

Common reasons that arthroscopic knee surgery may be recommended include:

  • Swollen knee joint lining (synovitis)
  • Trimming of torn pieces of cartilage (small osteochondral lesions)
  • Removal of a cyst within the joint
  • Removal or surgical repair of a meniscus injury
  • Ligament reconstruction
  • Removal of abnormal scar after total knee replacement

What does arthroscopic knee surgery involve?

During arthroscopy, a small incision will be made in front of the knee joint, through which a small camera (arthroscope) will be inserted to view the inside of the joint. Sterile fluid flows into the knee to distend the joint and allow for better visualization. The knee is thoroughly examined for any tissue damage. Specialized surgical instruments may be introduced through one or more other small incisions around the knee joint. Surgical repairs are guided by the real-time visualization provided by the arthroscope.

After the procedure, most patients are able to return home the same day. Recovery time following knee arthroscopy is generally more rapid than it is with other open knee surgeries. However, you should follow the recovery plan recommended by Dr. McLawhorn.

What are the advantages of arthroscopic knee surgery?

Advantages of arthroscopic knee surgery include:

  • Minimally invasive procedure
  • Performed on an outpatient basis
  • Shorter recovery time
  • Assists in successful treatment of a variety of knee injuries and conditions

Learn more about what you can expect before and after surgery in Dr. McLawhorn’s FAQs.

If you are suffering from knee pain and think you may need arthroscopic knee surgery, it is important to seek advice from an orthopedic specialist to accurately diagnose and treat your knee condition. Dr. McLawhorn is a  hip and knee specialist at Hospital for Special Surgery serving patients in New York City, Westchester, and Stamford, Connecticut. To learn more, call 203-705-2113 (CT) / 212-606-1065 (NYC) today or schedule an appointment by using the form on this page.

Learn more about knee arthroscopy at hss.edu

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