When a surgery is done arthroscopically, it means that the entire procedure is done through a very small incision. Here, a surgeon uses a video monitor which shows even the most minor incisions of the area being operated on. An arthroscope is the small camera which is inserted into the knee, giving the surgeon full visibility. With knees in particular, arthroscopy can treat a large range of knee problems that can occur. The procedure leads to less joint stiffness, less overall pain, and a shorter recovery time because there is no need for a large incision.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is recommended to patients that have not responded to any other nonsurgical pain alleviates. Nonsurgical treatments include physical therapy, medication, injections that can decrease inflammation, and rest. The most common arthroscopic knee procedures help fix a torn meniscus, torn ACL, inflamed synovial tissue, loose bone or cartilage, and problems with the patella.
Just like with any surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery requires specific preparation. Before one undergoes surgery, there are tests and evaluations they have to complete. These tests evaluate a person’s general health. A surgeon will also suggest that you get blood tests and an EKG.
Typically arthroscopic surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning patients are not required to spend the night in the hospital. If you take medication daily, make your surgeon aware of it before your surgery as you may be required to stop taking them before the procedure.
The recovery for this procedure is less painful and lengthy than open knee surgery but it is just as important that you follow the surgeon’s instructions precisely. If you did not need a reconstruction, patients can usually return back to their normal level of physical activity within 6-8 weeks. Patients will be in need of physical therapy in order to restore the motion of the knee and its strength.
Most people that receive this surgery regain their full function. It’s important to consult with a top Long Island orthopedic surgeon for the best results possible.