What conditions may benefit from knee arthroscopy?
- Knees that give way (meniscal tears/ligament injuries)
- Knees that get stuck in a position (locking) (meniscal tears/loose fragments of cartilage or bone)
- Pain around the joint after an injury (meniscal tears)
- Pain at the front of the knee (chondromalacia patellae – softening and fraying of cartilage of the knee cap)
- Early arthritis may benefit if there are mechanical symptoms such as locking and giving way of the joint
- Abnormal tracking of the patella (knee cap)
- Normally you would require about 2 weeks off work (6 for manual labourers)
- Wounds should be checked at 2 weeks and sutures removed
- Physiotherapy, full range of motion and weightbearing is encouraged from day1
- The first 4 weeks is aimed at range of motion and swelling control
- The 4-8weeks period concentrates on strengthening and stability exercises.
- Gradual return to sport at about 8 weeks starting with non impact and progressing as pain allows
These are fortunately very rare and when they do occur are relatively minor:
- Infection: there is less than 0.5% risk of an infection and can generally be managed with a short course of antibiotics, more serious infections are much rarer but may require return to theatre to have the knee washed out with saline.
- Bleeding: its common for the wounds to leak blood onto the dressings in the first 1-2 days but this should stop after that period. Major bleeding is extremely rare
- Stiffness/swelling and bruising: it’s common to be swollen and stiff for the first 6weeks after arthroscopy but this will improve with physiotherapy and gentle exercise
- Damage to small nerves at the wound site: you may experience some numbness around the scars for some time after the surgery