Knee arthroscopy allows orthopedic specialists to diagnose and treat problems with the knee joint in one efficient procedure. Our specialists at Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine use arthroscopic techniques to treat meniscal tears, ligament damage, a misaligned kneecap, and other conditions.
Arthroscopic procedures are one of the most minimally invasive ways to diagnose and treat joint problems. Your surgeon will be able to view the inside of your joint without the need for open surgery by using small incisions and a tiny camera. The interior of your knee will be visible on a monitor in the operating room. Once the problem area is located, the surgeon will repair the injury using the camera and other small tools.
Who needs knee arthroscopy?
Arthroscopic surgery can treat a wide variety of conditions. If you are suffering from one of the following knee conditions, you may need an arthroscopic procedure:
- Loose pieces of cartilage in the joint
- Patella out of alignment
- Torn ligaments (ACL, PCL, etc.)
- Torn meniscus
- Broken knee bones
- Cysts in the knee
- Swelling of the joint lining (synovium)
Sometimes it is unclear what exactly is causing a patient’s knee problems. In cases like these, knee arthroscopy may be recommended so that the surgeon can investigate and fix the problem.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Explained
The first step in any arthroscopic procedure is to administer the appropriate anesthesia. You and your doctor will decide whether a regional anesthetic (to numb the area of surgery) or full general anesthesia (to put you to sleep) is best for your procedure. Once your anesthesia is administered, the procedure can begin.
The entire surgery usually takes less than two hours. First, the surgeon will strategically place a few small cuts around your knee. These will be the access points for the arthroscope (tiny camera) and other tools to enter the joint. Next, saline (purified salt water) may be pumped into the joint — this is a safe way to expand the knee and allow the camera to see inside more easily. Once the surgeon finds the problem area, he or she will use small tools to repair the injury. After the repair is complete, your surgeon will drain the saline from the knee and suture the small incisions made at the beginning of the procedure.
Your knee will need time to rest and recover after your procedure. Fortunately, arthroscopic procedures tend to have much shorter recovery times than open surgeries, and most patients go home the same day as the procedure. You will likely be given exercises or physical therapy instructions to ensure that your knee heals properly throughout the recovery period. Your surgeon will be happy to discuss your aftercare instructions with you when you come to our office.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery in Novato, CA
At Marin Orthopedics & Sports Medicine, our specialists are dedicated to helping patients get back to their active lives. If surgery is necessary to repair your knee condition, our team will help guide you through the entire treatment process. Feel free to contact our office for more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our joint specialists.