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What is knee arthroscopy?

Knee Arthroscopy is key-hole surgery of the knee joint in which small incisions are used to place a small camera and instruments inside the joint to perform corrective procedures.

How is knee arthroscopy performed?

Knee arthroscopy is usually performed under general anaesthetic (asleep) with a tourniquet placed around the thigh to create a blood less operating view. Between two and four incisions, each approximately 5mm in length, are made around the knee to place the camera and surgical instruments into the joint to treat meniscal tears, anterior and posterior cruciate ligament tears, damaged cartilage surfaces, fractures and remove loose bone. Knee arthroscopy usually takes between 45 minutes and 2 hours, depending on the complexity of the operation.

How long will it take to recover?

The recovery largely depends on the operation performed and will be discussed with you in detail by Dr. Chandrasekaran.  Generally, you may be required to use crutches for 1-2 weeks but this may be up to 6 weeks You may be are able to drive a vehicle as long as you are not taking strong pain medication and can walk unaided. People with desk jobs can return to work within 7-10 days, while people in more heavy manual employment may require up to 2-6 weeks.  Sport can often be reintroduced early depending on the nature of the activity - often swimming and cycling are well tolerated. Running should usually be withheld for a minimum 6 weeks where possible.

Is physiotherapy required after knee arthroscopy?

Regular physical and hydrotherapy is essential during the recovery period to assist in rapid recovery of joint function and muscular control. Dr. Chandrasekaran will provide your physical therapist with recovery information and protocols.

What are the risks?

Knee arthroscopy is generally a safe procedure. The unwanted effects of knee arthroscopy are temporary discomfort, slight bruising, and numbness around the knee. Serious complications such as deep vein thrombosis infection, bone fracture or permanent nerve injury are extremely rare. Secondary procedures such as a knee replacement may be required in the future.

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