A knee arthroscopy, or keyhole surgery, is a minimally invasive knee surgery that enables the orthopaedic surgeon to perform minor procedures or diagnostic tests in the treatment of knee conditions and/or elimination of knee pain.
Your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopic surgery should you experience continuing knee problems relating to your knee joint, for which you need to take pain medication. This can range from a patella (knee cap) that has moved out of position, to fractures in the knee bones or torn cruciate ligaments.
Degenerative conditions or injuries to the cartilage (a torn meniscus) may cause disorders of movement (‘locked knee’) requiring removal or debridement of the loose cartilage.
Minor chondral damage can be treated with chondroplasty procedures.
Diagnostic procedures such as a biopsy looking for infection can be helpful in the management of a painful knee replacement.
The procedure is done at Life Orthopaedic Hospital, Cape Town, South Africa as a day case. The surgery is typically not long (about an hour), however, if the operation is more lengthy a patient may require general anaesthesia. From the operating room, patients are taken to a different room to recover and are generally discharged the same day.
Patients may need to use crutches for a few days while the small wounds heal and rest, ice, compress and elevate the joint to reduce swelling and pain. While it is fairly uncommon, there is a risk of blood clots occurring after arthroscopic knee surgery, so patients should always take it easy and work with the Cape, Hip & Knee nursing staff when in recovery.