What is Knee Arthroscopy?
In certain knee injuries such as bone spurs, torn ligaments or cartilage, joint infections, and scar tissue, the healthcare practitioner might advise that the patient undergo a procedure known as knee arthroscopy. This diagnostic procedure is used to collect tissue sample from the knee for microscopic examination. In this way, a doctor can better monitor the progression of a disease or the benefits of a treatment procedure.
How Is Knee Arthroscopy Performed?
The healthcare practitioner needs to be informed of the patient’s lifestyle habits, current medication, and allergies, if any. General or local anesthesia may be administered prior to performing a knee arthroscopy. An incision is made in the region, and an arthroscope, which is about the width of a pencil and attached to a small video camera, is inserted. The arthroscope is connected to a monitor to enable the healthcare practitioner to view the extent of the damage. If the knee joint needs repair, additional surgical instruments are inserted through other incisions made around the area. A typical procedure lasts for an hour and after the procedure is completed, the surgical instruments are removed and the knee joint is flushed with a saline solution prior to stitching. After the patient is discharged from the healthcare facility, he may have to rest the knee for several days to reduce the inflammation. Splints, slings or crutches may have to be used for comfort. The healthcare practitioner may advise rehabilitation therapy to speed recovery.
Possible Risks Post Knee Arthroscopy
Although knee arthroscopy is a relatively risk-free procedure, certain complications may arise. These include bleeding, formation of blood clots within the knee joint, and damage to muscles, ligaments, tendons, cartilage, or blood vessels. The healthcare practitioner needs to be contacted immediately if there is high fever, excessive bleeding, or drainage from the incision, or if the patient experiences any numbing or tingling sensations in the knee.