Knee arthroscopy is a surgical technique that can diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. During the procedure, your surgeon will make a very small incision and insert a tiny camera — called an arthroscope — into your knee. This allows them to view the inside of the joint on a screen.
When Knee Arthroscopy is Recommended
Your doctor may recommend knee arthroscopy if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment. Nonsurgical treatment includes rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation.
Knee arthroscopy may relieve painful symptoms of many problems that damage the cartilage surfaces and other soft tissues surrounding the joint.
Common arthroscopic procedures for the knee include:
- Removal or repair of a torn meniscus
- Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
- Trimming of damaged articular cartilage
- Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Treatment of patella (kneecap) problems
- Knee sepsis (infection)
Most knee arthroscopy procedures last less than an hour. The length of the surgery will depend upon the findings and the treatment necessary.