A 4 mm scope is inserted inside the knee and the structures inside knee is visualised on a TV or computer screen.
Procedures on meniscus, ligaments and cartilage are performed through the keyhole using special instruments designed for that purpose.
It usually takes from 30 min to 1 hour to complete the actual surgical procedure. However, any surgery needs pre-operative preparation and anaesthesia which may take around 30-40 minute before starting the actual procedure.
Most arthroscopic procedures are done as day case surgery. After prior appointment you can reach hospital in morning and have the procedure done. If you are comfortable and able to mobilise by evening, you would be able to go home. Occasionally overnight stay may be needed if pain is not well controlled.
Physiotherapy is an integral part of treatment and is very important for improving knee movements and strengthening of muscles of knee.
It depends upon the procedure which is performed. In cases of ligament reconstruction, return to pre-injury sports activity is usually possible by 6 months. If your routine activity does not involve professional sports, then you may resume work by 2-3 months in case of ligament reconstruction.
In cases of partial meniscectomy, full activity is usually resumed as early as 2-4 weeks. However, it is subject to patient comfort and ease of mobility after surgery.
In cases of cartilage graft or meniscal repair, you will be advised to mobilise using crutches with non-weight bearing on operated limb for at least 6-8 weeks post-surgery.
Usually driving is allowed when you are able to actively extend your knee with good strength. This assessment needs to be made by doctor as well as physiotherapist after which you would be able to start driving safely.
Usually with small keyhole incisions you can shower after 2-3 days if the wound site is dry. Do not apply any soap or scrub over the keyhole incision. You can just wash with water and pat it dry with a clean towel.
Swimming is allowed only after suture removal which is usually after 2 weeks.
I usually see my patients in clinic in a weeks’ time for wound check and dressing. Suture removal at 2 weeks. Suture removal can be done by local GP doctor.
Follow up is usually needed at 6 weeks’ time for review followed by another follow up at 12 weeks.