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During knee arthroscopy, your surgeon will make two or three small cuts around your knee.
A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be inserted through one of the cuts. The camera is attached to a video monitor that lets the surgeon see inside the knee.
The surgeon may put other small surgery tools inside your knee through the other cuts. The surgeon will then fix or remove the problem in your knee.
Why the procedure is performed
Arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:
- Torn meniscus. Meniscus is cartilage that cushions the space between the bones in the knee. Surgery is done to repair or remove it.
- Torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Swollen (inflamed) or damaged lining of the joint. This lining is called the synovium.
- Kneecap (patella) that is out of position (misalignment).
- Small pieces of broken cartilage in the knee joint
- Removal of Baker’s cyst. This is a swelling behind the knee that is filled with fluid. Sometimes the problem occurs when there is swelling and pain (inflammation) from other causes, like arthritis.
- Some fractures of the bones of the knee
Full recovery after knee arthroscopy will depend on what type of problem was treated.
Problems such as a torn meniscus, broken cartilage, Baker’s cyst, and problems with the synovium are often easily fixed. Many people stay remain active after these surgeries.
Recovery from simple procedures is usually fast. You may need to use crutches for a while after some types of surgery. Your doctor may also prescribe pain medicine.
Recovery will take longer if you have had a more complex procedure. If parts of your knee have been repaired or rebuilt, you may not be able to walk without crutches or a knee brace for several weeks.
Full recovery may take several months to a year. If you also have arthritis in your knee, you will still have arthritis symptoms after surgery to repair other damage to your knee.