Knee arthroscopy has in many cases replaced the classic arthrotomy that was performed in the past. Today knee arthroscopy is commonly performed for treating meniscus injury, reconstruction of the anterior cruciate ligament and for cartilage microfracturing.
During an average knee arthroscopy, a small fiber optic camera (the arthroscope) is inserted into the joint through a small incision, about 4 mm (1/8 inch) long. A special fluid is used to visualize the joint parts. More incisions might be performed in order to check other parts of the knee. Then other miniature instruments are used and the surgery is performed.
A cuff-like device that inflates may be used around your thigh to help control bleeding during Knee Arthroscopy. The surgeon will make 2 or 3 small incisions around your knee. Saltwater (saline) will be pumped into the knee to open up the space. A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be inserted through one of the incisions. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. The surgeon looks at the monitor to see the inside of the knee and identify problems. Other medical instruments maybe introduced inside the knee through the other small incisions. The surgeon then repairs or removes the problem in the knee.
At the end of the surgery, the saline will be drained from the knee. The surgeon will close the incisions with sutures (stitches) and cover them with a dressing.
The range of procedures that can be performed at the time of standard knee arthroscopy include:-