What Is Knee Arthroscopy?
A knee arthroscopy is an exploratory procedure, which means that it is used to diagnose the cause of knee trouble. In some cases, there may be treatment included in the procedure as well. The procedure consists of the surgeon making a small incision, then looking inside the incision at the joint itself using an arthroscope, or tiny camera. Typically, the entire procedure takes around thirty minutes unless the surgeon finds an issue that they can fix in the same procedure, in which case, it may take longer. Sometimes the patient is put entirely to sleep and, other times, only the knee is numbed. After the surgeon is through, they will close the incision site with stitches.
Knee Arthroscopy Diagnosis
A knee arthroscopy isn't necessarily looking for one particular problem; rather, a physician will order this procedure if you are experiencing knee pain. This is particularly common if there has been a known injury but can also occur in other scenarios such as degeneration from arthritis or similar disease. If there has been a known injury, some possible diagnoses are torn meniscus, torn ligaments, fractures, or shifted patella. In the event that a ligament has been torn, it is possible that there may be pieces loose in the joint. If there hasn't been an injury, likely diagnoses include cysts or swollen synovium, or joint lining.
Knee Arthroscopy Treatment
Of course, the treatment will be dependent upon the determined diagnosis. In certain scenarios, the physician may be able to make the diagnosis and treat the condition in the arthroscopy procedure. This may be the case when it is determined that the pain is caused by either loose ligament pieces or smaller cysts because they can be removed with small tools utilizing the small incision. Larger issues may require that an additional procedure be scheduled.
Knee Arthroscopy Recovery Process
Knee arthroscopy is considered minimally invasive and consequently has fewer risks and a shorter recovery period than open-knee surgery. In fact, at Treasure Valley Hospital, arthroscopies are performed on an outpatient basis, meaning the patient may go home as soon as a few hours after the procedure. There are some considerations that the patient will need to discuss with their health care professional to ensure the best possible recovery. These factors include when the patient will be able to walk unassisted and when they can return to normal activities.
Typically, the main side effect that people experience is swelling. This can last for several days following the procedure, so patients are advised to keep their surgical leg elevated as often as possible. Additionally, patients may be advised not to drive for a couple of weeks depending on how comprehensive their surgical procedure was. Overall, patients tend to report feeling relatively normal after approximately eight weeks.
Why Choose TVH for Total Knee Arthroscopy?
Treasure Valley Hospital should be your choice for your knee arthroscopy because our experienced physicians specialize in sports medicine, orthopedics, pain management, and other specific areas of care. You can be sure that whichever diagnosis is determined, we have the staff to see you through the surgical process while experiencing as little pain as possible. TVH is Idaho's number one physician-owned hospital. This means that our physicians are personally invested in both our hospital and the patients we care for.