Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery (Video Link - Loose Body Removal from Knee by Key Hole Surgery)

Arthroscopy is key-hole surgery of the joints where a thin (4 mm diameter) telescope is introduced into the joint through a small cut, and the inside of the joint examined. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the corrective surgery is done there and then by introducing micro-instruments through another small skin puncture.

Knee arthroscopy in progress

Scars of arthroscopy not visible

Frequently Asked Questions

Q 1. What is the benefit of arthroscopic surgery?
  • Minimal cutting technique
  • Day-care surgery
  • Quick recovery
  • No plaster or bandaging
  • Safe
  • Better visibility even compared to open surgery
Q 2. What is the down side of arthroscopy?
It is a technically demanding procedure, and needs a lot of experience and sophisticated equipment.
Q 3. How is it done?
It is done with the patient under spinal or general anaesthesia. The knee is cleaned and draped as would be done for any other operation. A cut is made just below and outside the knee cap. Through this, an arthroscope ( a kind of telescope, 4 mm size) is introduced, and a small video camera is attached to it. Inside of the joint can be seen on a TV monitor. The arthroscope can be moved to different parts of the joint, and all the structures inside the joint are examined. The second cut is made on the inner side and below the knee cap, through which other instruments such as probe, cutters etc. can be introduced
Q 4. In what cases is arthroscopy beneficial?

Today, most often, arthroscopy is performed for curative purpose when the diagnosis is already made clinically or by MRI. In some cases, where it has not been possible to reach a conclusive diagnosis, arthroscopy provides a very potent way of reaching a diagnosis. The following are some of the common procedures which can be performed arthroscopically:

  • Loose body removal
  • Partial or complete meniscus excision
  • Repair of degenerated cartilage (Chondroplasty)
  • Correction of mal-tracking knee cap, a cause of pain.
  • Biopsy from the knee for a suspected infection or tumour
  • Excision of the overgrown lining of the knee (Synovectomy)
  • Release of a stiff knee (Arthrolysis)
  • Ligament reconstruction (ACL/PCL reconstruction)
  • Fusion of the knee in extreme cases (Arthrodesis)

We have found arthroscopy a very useful tool to see inside the joint just prior to a major operation, to make out the true extent of damage of the knee. It helps in deciding whether a joint can be saved or has to be replaced. If it has to be replaced, whether it is going to be a partial or full replacement.

Q 5. How much time does it take to recover?
Arthroscopic surgery being minimally-invasive with very small cuts, the patient can walk on the same day or the next day, initially with support and later independently.
Q 6. What complications can occur?

Arthroscopy is a fairly safe operation. In rare cases, there may occur collection of blood in the knee (haemarthrosis). In most cases it is mild and absorbs by itself, but in some removal of the blood may be required with a needle. This is done under local anaesthesia as an OPD procedure (can be done in the clinic itself).

The only other, though uncommon complication is infection, which is a complication which can occur after simplest of operations, though much less common with arthroscopy. Prevention is the best approach, and we take all possible precautions. If it does happen, a long course of antibiotics, and occasionally an arthroscopic cleaning may be required.

In some cases stiffness may set in after arthroscopy. Taking care of knee in the post op period can prevent this complication

Q 7. What is the cost?
That depends on the kind of arthroscopic surgery done and the mode of payment i.e. cash, insurance or panel. We cater to all these modes and rates vary with each. You may approach our clinic at 9811109833 for specific information.
Q 8. How long does one stay in the hospital?
Usually you are discharged within 24 hours. Some surgeries may be done as day-care, but in most cases you are discharged the next day.
Q 9. How painful is it going to be?
Being key-hole surgery, pain is minimal, at most a discomfort for a period of 2-3 days. One can be up and about the very next morning, and fit to move out of home in 3-4 days.