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You are here : AllRefer.com > Health > Surgery & Procedures > Knee arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy

Alternate Names : Knee scope - arthroscopic lateral retinacular release, Synovectomy - knee, Patellar (knee) debridement, Meniscus repair, Lateral release, Knee surgery


Definition

Knee arthroscopy is surgery that is done to check for problems, using a tiny camera to see inside your knee. Other medical instruments may also be inserted to repair your knee.

Overview & Description

Three different types of anesthesia (pain management) may be used for knee arthroscopy surgery:

  • Your knee may be numbed with painkilling medicine, and you may be given medicines that relax you. You will stay awake.
  • Spinal anesthesia. This is also called regional anesthesia. The painkilling medicine is injected into a space in your spine. You will be awake but will not be able to feel anything below your waist.
  • General anesthesia. You will be unconscious and unable to feel pain.

A cuff-like device that inflates may be used around your thigh to help control bleeding during knee arthroscopy.

The surgeon will make 2 or 3 small incisions (cuts) around your knee. Saltwater (saline) will be pumped into your knee to open up the space.

A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be inserted through one of the incisions. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. The surgeon looks at the monitor to see the inside of your knee. In some operating rooms, the patient can also watch the surgery on the monitor, if they want to.

The surgeon will look around your knee for problems. The surgeon may put other medical instruments inside your knee through the other small incisions. The surgeon will then repair or remove the problem in your knee.

At the end of your surgery, the saline will be drained from your knee. The surgeon will close your incisions with sutures (stitches) and cover them with a dressing. Many surgeons take pictures of the procedure from the video monitor so that afterward you can see what was found and what was done.

See also: ACL reconstruction

Why the Procedure Is Performed

Arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:

  • A torn meniscus. Meniscus is cartilage that cushions the space between the bones in the knee. Surgery is done to repair or remove it.
  • A torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Inflamed or damaged lining of the joint. This lining is called the synovium.
  • Misalignment of the kneecap (patella). Misalignment puts the kneecap out of position.
  • Small pieces of broken cartilage in the knee joint
  • Removal of Baker's cyst -- a swelling behind the knee that is filled with fluid. Sometimes this occurs when there is inflammation (soreness and pain) from other causes, like arthritis.
  • Some fractures of the bones of the knee
Pictures & Images

Arthroscopy
Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy  - series
Knee arthroscopy - series

     
      See all Pictures & Images



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Review Date : 2/3/2009
Reviewed By : C. Benjamin Ma, MD, Assistant Professor, Chief, Sports Medicine and Shoulder Service, UCSF Dept of Orthopaedic Surgery. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.



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