Knee Arthroscopy

What is Knee Arthroscopy?

This is an operation to look inside the knee without formally opening the joint itself.
Two main cuts are made either side of the lower border of the patella (kneecap). They are about 1cm each. Sometimes another incision is necessary depending on the reason for the arthroscopy this would be above the patella on the outside or inside.

What can be done in an arthroscopy?

A number of conditions can be evaluated and treated arthroscopically. This includes repair or trimming of either of the two meniscii (cartilage) of the knee; debridement of the cartilage covering of the knee; general debridement and washout of the knee in arthritis; and assessment and reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament.

How long does the operation last?

Most arthroscopic procedures last less than 25 minutes and most are done as day cases. This will obviously depend on what is done and how medically fit you are. A physiotherapist will see you on the ward afterwards, make sure you are safe (on crutches if necessary) and give you exercises to do before you go home. During the procedure we take pictures and will show you these and explain the findings to you after your operation.

When can I return to work and normal activities?

This depends on what is done, but most people return to work and general activities, including driving within a few weeks, and often sooner. We will inform you exactly what you can and cannot do after your operation.

Download PDF

pdf