Knee Arthroscopy

This is a short section to an arthroscopy of the knee. If you have any questions or would like further information, speak to your GP or health professional.

Arthroscopy of the knee in brief

An arthroscopy of the knee, or keyhole surgery as it is otherwise known, is achieved by inserting a camera through small cuts in the skin. Your surgeon is then able to look at the inside your knee and make a diagnosis. They will be able to identify problems including a torn cartilage, ligament damage and arthritis (see figure 1).

Figure 1
Internal structure of the right knee
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What are the benefits?

The main benefit of this type of surgery is the ability to confirm what the problem is and in lots of cases treat the problem during the procedure.

Is there an alternative?

Although conditions affecting the inside of the knee can usually be diagnosed using an MRI scan (magnetic scan), an arthroscopy may still be the best way to treat the actual knee problem.

What does it involve?

An arthroscopy can be performed using a variety of anaesthetic techniques and takes approximately half an hour to three-quarters of an hour.

During the operation your surgeon will examine the inside of your knee and remove any loose material generated by wear of the joints. It is also usually possible to trim or repair a torn cartilage without making a larger cut to the skin.

What about complications?

Most surgical procedures carry some level of risk or possible complication. These will be discussed with you by your consultant or pre-assessment nurse prior to your procedure.

What about recovery time?

You will be able to go home on the same day as the arthroscopy.

Your knee may be a little swollen for a few weeks and walking can be uncomfortable.

Regular exercise should help you to resume normal activities as soon as possible, but seek advice from your GP or healthcare professional before starting to exercise.

Generally most people who undergo an arthroscopy make a good recovery and are able to return to normal activities. Your surgeon will also let you know if you are likely to experience further problems with your knee.

Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) summary

An arthroscopy allows the examination, diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting the knee, by cutting a small area in the skin. This surgery may minimise the amount of pain you feel, as well as speed up your recovery following surgery.



EIDO Healthcare Limited – The operation and treatment information on this website is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by Aspen Healthcare.

The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

Knee Arthroscopy Consultants