|Arthroscopy allows an orthopaedic surgeon
to diagnose and treat knee disorders by providing a clear view of
the inside of the knee with small incisions, using a pencil-sized
instrument called an arthroscope. The scope allows transmission of
images to a television monitor. The surgeon watches the
images on the TV monitor to thoroughly examine the interior of
the knee and determine the source of the problem. During the procedure,
the surgeon can insert surgical instruments through other small incisions
in your knee to remove or repair damaged tissues. The incisions are
closed by paper strips or a stitch.
After arthroscopic surgery
Recovery is fast after arthroscopic surgery. As soon as he awakes
from anaesthesia, the patient does simple exercises for strengthening
the muscle of the thigh (quadriceps). He can walk without crutches
and take weight through the operated knee but he must keep his leg
straight for a few days by contracting his quadriceps (no crutches,
no brace). On the day after, he can flex his knee in bed and while
sitting. If necessary, he will make passive flexion exercises. After
a few days, he feels better and it will be possible to walk normally.
After ten days, the patient takes off the paper strips.
Indications of arthroscopy:
The most frequent indication of arthroscopy is partial meniscectomy
(removing of the damaged part of the cartilage meniscus). This is
a very common procedure.
In some cases (young patient and a special type of meniscus damage),
a suture can be discussed. The
purpose of suture is to expect a healing of the lesion.
When the knee is locked (inability to fully straighten the leg),
the lesion is called a "bucket
handle tear". It is frequently associated with an ACL injury
which must be looked for.