Overview Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure during which the surgeon inserts a thin (pen -like) arthroscope into the patient's knee in order to diagnose and treat intra-articular problems of the joint. The arthroscope is connected to a camera and the images are transferred onto a screen on which the surgeon see real-time in the knee. Knee arthroscopy is performed through two small (stab) incisions at the front of the knee which are called portals. One of the portals is used for the insertion of the camera and the other for the insertion of instruments. Sometimes, some arthroscopic procedures may require one or two additional portals to allow access to specific areas of the knee joint. Because of its tiny access, in some countries arthroscopy is also referred as "keyhole surgery".
Arthroscope used in knee arthroscopy
Arthroscope connected to camera
Arthroscopic tower with screen
Arthroscopy has been a real advance for orthopaedics because it enabled doctors to better understand lesions and diseases of the joint and, equally importantly, to offer efficient treatments with minimal impact and morbidity. When knee arthroscopy first became widely available in the 1970’s it was used primarily to look inside the knee joint and make a diagnosis. Today, knee arthroscopy is used in performing a wide range of different types of surgical procedures on the knee joint including confirming a diagnosis, removing loose bodies, removing or repairing a torn meniscus, reconstructing torn ligaments, repairing articular cartilage and fixing fractures of the joint surface.
Arthroscopic view of normal knee
Arthroscopic view of medial meniscal tear
Arthroscopic view of anterior cruciate ligament
Risks related with knee arthroscopy include:
Thromboembolism (Blood clots)
Injury to nerves or vessels
Persistent pain and knee stiffness
Accumulation of blood clots in the knee (haematoma)