Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure in which a small fiberoptic telescope (arthroscope) is inserted into the joint. The joint is distended with fluid for visualization of structures. The operating team can view the surgery on a monitor.
As arthroscopes are approximately 4 mm in diameter, the incisions are very small. During the procedure, which is conducted under anesthesia, the inside of the joint is examined for damaged tissue. The most common types of arthroscopic knee surgery include:
- Removal or repair of a torn meniscus (cartilage)
- Ligament reconstruction
- Debridement of the joint (removing damaged & loose tissue)
- Cartilage Regeneration Procedures (Marrow Stimulation, OATS, ACI)
- Mobilising a Stiff Joint
Arthroscopy is much less traumatic to soft tissues than traditional methods of open surgery. Patients benefit from smaller incisions, faster healing, rapid recovery, and less scarring.
WHAT TO EXPECT :
Patients are admitted generally on the day of the procedure and are either discharged the same evening or the next day. The incisions are minimal. Patients are seldom in pain. They have a bandage around the knee for 7-10 days and are expected to participate in a specially designed rehabilitation protocol from the very next day after surgery. These well structured rehabilitation protocols which include ice therapy, mobilisation and gradual strengthening and proprioception exercises make a significant difference in the time and quality of outcome. Discharge advice includes medication, physical therapy and at times the use of a brace. Outpatient visits are then scheduled two weeks after surgery.
The recovery time and outcome of the procedure is related to the type of injury and surgical procedure performed. For example, an arthroscopic surgical ligament reconstruction will take longer to heal than a patient who has had a torn meniscus removed.
Most patients return to their desk jobs within a week depending on the procedure performed. Graduated physical therapy under our supervision helps them recover rapidly such that most patients are able to pursue activities of daily living independently within a month. Sportpersons & manual labourers take slightly longer to perform heavy activities.