Knee arthroscopy (or arthroscopic knee surgery) is minimally invasive surgery that is used by Dignity Health to both diagnose and repair knee problems. Knee arthroscopy is important because it allows a surgeon to view the joint and perform surgery with instruments inserted through small incisions, instead of the larger incision that is necessary for open knee surgery.
Why Knee Arthroscopy is Performed
If you’re experiencing knee symptoms from a mild injury or overuse, your doctor will likely first recommend rest and pain medication. Anti-inflammation injections and physical therapy at Dignity Health are also options. If these treatments don’t help, knee arthroscopy may be the next step.
Doctors use arthroscopic surgery to diagnose the cause of knee symptoms, including:
- Burning sensation
- Catching or locking
Doctors also use arthroscopy to treat many different knee conditions, such as torn ligaments and cartilage (like your ACL), loose pieces of cartilage and bone, misaligned kneecaps, inflamed knee joints and fractures.
What You Should Expect
A Dignity Health orthopedic surgeon will insert an arthroscope (a tube-shaped instrument with a small camera) into what is about a half-inch cut in your knee. The arthroscope will then send video images of the inside of your knee to a screen, so that your surgeon can correct the problem or repair damage with additional surgical instruments inserted through more small incisions. Knee arthroscopy takes about an hour, and most people go home the same day.
How Your Everyday Life May Be Different
Your doctor will recommend a plan for gradually bearing more weight on your affected leg, and an exercise and physical therapy regimen to regain full movement and strength. Recovery from knee arthroscopy typically takes one to two months.
Expect a longer recovery if you had more extensive surgery, such as rebuilding parts of the joint. For expert care before, during and after a knee arthroscopy, trust your healing to Dignity Health. Get started on the road to recovery now by using our Find a Doctor locator tool.
Dignity Health is a reliable resource for knee arthroscopies in the Bay Area, including San Francisco, Santa Cruz and Redwood City.