Arthroscopy has been a mainstay, for many years, for the treatment of knee conditions not requiring open surgery. It provides a minimally invasive route for the debridement and repair of meniscal tears, cartilage debridement and repair, and the removal of bone spurs. Arthroscopy is performed as an outpatient procedure with the patient returning home several hours after completion. Due to its minimally invasive nature, the patient experiences less pain and a quicker recovery than after an open procedure.
Knee Arthroscopy Procedure
The knee joint is accessed through small incisions through which a small camera and instruments are used to visualize and make repairs to the joint. Depending on the patient’s specific condition, instruments may be used to debride or repair meniscal tears, debride or repair cartilage damage, and/or remove bone spurs to allow for smooth movement of the knee joint. Knee arthroscopy is typically performed as an outpatient procedure, allowing the patient to return home several hours after completion to begin recovery.
After knee arthroscopy most patients are able to walk without the use of assistive devices. A post-operative evaluation will be scheduled for two weeks after the procedure to check the incision sites for the status of their healing, as well as range of motion. In most cases the patient can advance their activity level as their symptoms subside. In addition, physical therapy in the days after arthroscopy is possible and can help the patient begin rebuilding muscle strength, flexibility, and range of motion in the surgical knee.
Faucett, S. C., Geisler, B. P., Chahla, J., Krych, A. J., Kurzweil, P. R., Garner, A. M., … Pietzsch, J. B. (2019). Meniscus Root Repair vs Meniscectomy or Nonoperative Management to Prevent Knee Osteoarthritis After Medial Meniscus Root Tears: Clinical and Economic Effectiveness. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 47(3), 762–769. https://doi.org/10.1177/0363546518755754
Lysholm, J., & Gillquist, J. (1983). Arthroscopic meniscectomy in athletes. The American Journal of Sports Medicine, 11(6), 436–438. https://doi.org/10.1177/036354658301100610