Knee Arthroscopy

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Understanding Knee Arthroscopy

The knee is the largest joint in the body and is quite complex. The knee joint is stabilized with multiple ligaments, and may be injured with cutting, twisting or pivoting movements or trauma. The knee joint is also prone to wear and tear, including degenerative arthritis and meniscus tears. The knee joint has three compartments, or areas: the patellofemoral compartment under and around the kneecap; the medial compartment on the inside of the knee; and the lateral (outside) compartment. Pain in these areas could signify damage or injury to the structures inside the knee.

MRI is often obtained to determine if you have a ligament or meniscus tear. If you have an injury or damage to a structure in the knee joint, your surgeon may recommend knee arthroscopy. Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows your surgeon to inspect the knee joint with a small camera, called an arthroscope. Knee arthroscopy will typically involve three or more small buttonhole sized incisions, called portals. Meniscus tears and cartilage damage can be trimmed or repaired arthroscopically. Ligament reconstruction, such as ACL reconstruction, is also performed with arthroscopic assistance.

Before Surgery

Dr. Burns will help you prepare for surgery by talking to you about what is wrong with your knee and explaining the planned surgical procedure to you. Preoperative bloodwork and testing will be done if necessary to ensure you are healthy for surgery. Your medical doctor will be involved if necessary depending on your age and your overall health.

The Night Before Surgery

Remember to have nothing to eat or drink after midnight. Take only the medications that the nurse instructs in the morning with a small sip of water. The Day of Surgery Arrive at the hospital or surgery center at the time given., which is usually 1-2 hours before your planned surgical procedure. You will be checked in by the staff, receive an IV, and medication to relax you.

After Surgery

You will arrive in the recovery room. Knee arthroscopy is an outpatient procedure and you will go home when you are awake and comfortable. ACL reconstruction is also typically performed as an outpatient procedure.