Arthroscopic Knee Surgery – Is a Knee Scope Right for You?
Arthroscopic knee surgery involves the use of a tiny camera (arthroscope), specialized surgical instruments, and minimally invasive techniques, all of which allow a surgeon to clearly see the interior of the knee joint without making a large incision. The camera captures detailed images that are projected onto a high-definition external monitor in real time, allowing the surgeon to operate with enhanced precision. As compared to traditional open surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery typically results in less pain and stiffness as well as a faster recovery.
When is arthroscopic knee surgery used?
Usually discussed as a second- or third-line treatment, arthroscopy can address many painful knee conditions that do not respond well to conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, medications, and injections. For instance, a surgeon may perform arthroscopic knee surgery to:
- Repair a torn meniscus
- Reconstruct a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL)
- Trim damaged articular cartilage
- Remove loose bone or cartilage fragments
- Remove inflamed synovial tissue
- Reposition a misaligned patella (kneecap)
- Treat knee sepsis (infection)
How long does it take to recover from arthroscopic knee surgery?
Following a knee arthroscopy, there may be some swelling in the knee, which should subside within a few days to a few weeks. Most patients are encouraged to perform specific exercises to promote recovery. For instance, it can be especially helpful to strengthen the thigh muscles (quadriceps and hamstrings), which support the knee joint. Swimming and cycling are low-impact options that can be very effective. Depending on the specifics of the knee issue and surgical procedure, a full recovery may be achieved within four to six weeks (more complex surgeries can take several months).
If you’re experiencing knee pain, you can turn with confidence to Peter D. Vizzi, M.D., for a comprehensive assessment. With a practice conveniently located in Lafayette, LA, Dr. Vizzi is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who offers both conservative and surgical treatment options, including arthroscopic knee surgery, for a variety of conditions.