Knee arthroscopy is technique employed both to diagnose as well as treat the knee joint associated problems. The procedure involves usage of a camera with small incision done over the knee. This is called arthroscope. Through the arthroscope, the surgeon would be able to view the internal parts and architecture of the joints over the screen. Then the problems can be investigated related to the knee and corrections can be performed with the help of the small instruments present in the arthroscope.
Using the knee arthroscopy, several knee problems like misaligned knee cap or patella, torn meniscus can be diagnosed and repair of the joint ligaments can also be performed.
Need for the Surgery
Candidates, who experience the following are eligible for the knee arthroscope surgery.
- Severe knee pain
- Knee injuries
- Posterior or anterior torn cruciate ligaments
- Torn meniscus or cartilage present in between the knee bones
- Loose of the torn pieces of cartilage in the joint
- Fractures happened to the knee bones
- A patella moved out of the position
- Baker’s cyst removal
Thorough medical checkup is done, including the pre medical history of the patient. The candidate needs to share the details about the supplements, over the counter prescriptions using currently. Some of the medicine like, ibuprofen, aspirin are to be stopped many days or weeks before the procedure starts. The candidate should refrain from drinking and eating for at least 6 to 12 hours, before the surgery starts.
The procedure starts with anesthesia. The anesthesia given might be general, local or regional, according to the suitability. Initially, small incisions are done over the surgical sites over the knees. Knees are expanded using sterile salt water pumping for better view of the inner parts of the joint. Then the arthroscope is inserted through the cut and surgeon looks at the images given by the camera on the monitor.
Once the problem has been located in the knee, the surgeon inserts the necessary small tools and performs the corrections. After the surgery is completed the saline is taken out by draining it out from the joint. Finally, the cut is closed with stitches. After the surgery is performed, pain medication is given to relieve the patient from the discomfort.
Through the occurrence of the risks are rare, the possible risks of the surgical procedure are the following.
- Infection at the surgical site
- Excessive bleeding happening during the surgery
- Allergic reaction experienced to the anesthesia and possibly other administered medications
- Difficulties in breathing because of anesthesia
Apart from the above risks associated with the general surgical procedure, exclusive risks associated with the knee arthroscopy are,
- Bleeding happening inside the joint of the knee
- Blood clot formed in the leg
- Infection present in the joint
- Knee stiffness
- Possible damage or injury to ligaments, blood vessels, nerves or cartilage
The recovery time for the knee arthroscopy depends on the complexity and severity associated with the knee pain. Most likely, the patient would be discharged from the hospital on the same day of the surgery. Ice pack is given to the patient for the knee. The pack is suggested to be applied to reduce the swell and also for minimization of the pain.
After reaching home, complete rest should be taken at least for the first 24 hours. The leg has to be kept elevated and ice must be kept on it. Pain and swell can be reduced in a day or two. Surgeon’s instructions must be followed and regular follow-up visits must be made for a few months at least.
Since knee arthroscopy is minimally invasive procedure, it is reliable procedure useful for both the diagnosis and correction of the problems related to the knees. The patient experience improved quality of life with minimized pain. The patient gains optimum levels of knee mobility after the completion of the surgical procedure.
Cost of Knee Arthroscopy Surgery
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