Arthroscopy of the knee
The most common reasons that we carry out this procedure is for meniscal tears, cartilage clean ups, and for the assessment of the knee for more complex procedures such as osteotomies, and joint replacement.
Complications are rare, and include infection in about 1 in 1000, thrombosis about 1 in 1000. It is normal to have pain and swelling around the incisions, which can take up to 3 months to settle. Occasionally an area of numbness on the outside aspect of the knee is experienced. This usually resolves within 3 months, but in very rare cases may persist.
The anaesthetist will contact you by phone before the surgery, to discuss the anaesthetic. Sometimes they will arrange to see you if there are particular worries. Occasionally, we will arrange for you to see another specialist in order to optimise your medical condition before the surgery.
Read more about Anaesthesia here.
Thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolus (PE)
The day of surgery
The anaesthetist will see you on the ward or in the holding bay in theatre. Pre medications are not prescribed routinely, but you can discuss this with the anaesthetist. We will usually see you in the holding bay, where all the documentation will be double checked, and you operative side will be marked.
Surgery is usually carried out as a day case, under a short general anaesthetic, and takes about 20 minutes. The skin is closed with steri strips, with a thick dressing that remains on for 24hrs. We will usually infiltrate the knee with local anaesthetic to reduce pain.
The nurses will instruct you about wound care before you leave. Most patients go home 4 hours after surgery.
You may be seen by the physiotherapist, and outpatient physiotherapy arranged if appropriate.
Please see our Advice following Knee arthroscopy surgery.
What you can do to optimize yourself
Stopping smoking will greatly reduce your risk of chest complications, infection, and poor wound healing, as well as benefit your long-term health.
Exercise, weight loss and healthy eating will all improve your outcome.
- Pathway for total hip replacement and resurfacing hip replacement
- Bearings for hip replacement
- Hip replacement in the young
Pain Management after discharge
Advice following Knee arthroscopy surgery
DVT and PE
How to Use Crutches, Canes and Walkers
Arthritis of the Knee
Frequently Asked Questions about Osteoarthritis of the Knee
Anterior Cruciate Ligament Injuries
Collateral Ligament Injuries
Combined Knee Ligament Injuries
Common Knee Injuries