Knee pain caused by damage to the cartilage or other soft tissue is sometimes treated with medication or physical therapy. If these treatments aren’t working then a general practitioner or family doctor may suggest a knee arthroscopy in order to help diagnose and treat the problem.
An arthroscope is an instrument that is used to help visualise the inside of the knee joint. Along with other surgical instruments, it is used to carry out treatment for infection or problems with how the knee is functioning. Arthroscopic procedures include the repair or removal of damage cartilage, tissue or bone and the reconstruction of specific knee ligaments if they have been torn.
Most arthroscopy procedures do not require a general anaesthetic, and are often done as a fast day case investigation or procedure. The knee joint is firstly numbed with some local anaesthetic and small cuts are made into the front (anterior) of the knee. The arthroscope is then able to be placed into the inside of the joint and any images taken, tissue removed or reconstructions performed. The procedure is typically short, taking often less than one hour to do, and a hospital stay is often unnecessary, with patients able to go home with a friend of family member the same day.
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