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Arthroscopic knee surgery

guidelines for patients

Dr Rob Nicholas

Arthroscopic knee surgery

The aim of knee arthroscopy is to make a diagnosis or find out what the problem is and then to rectify the problem, if possible.

Knee arthroscopy is performed as a same day procedure under general anaesthesia, though local or spinal anaesthesia can be utilized if requested. The patient is admitted the day of surgery and goes home about five hours later.

Two or three puncture wounds are made in the knee joint. The camera, the sheath of which is about the size of a ballpoint pen, is introduced into the knee and the joint inspected. For surgical correction instruments are introduced through the same keyhole incisions.

Vincent Pallotti Hospital

Photographs of the inside of the knee are taken and are given to the patient afterwards.

The patient is discharged the same day and can walk and bear weight on the operated leg immediately and usually crutches are not necessary. The puncture wounds are covered with waterproof dressings. The knee is also bandaged up in a crepe bandage, but this can be removed for showering.

The patient is advised to take it easy and stay at home for five to seven days. Driving a car is usually possible within five days.

The knee must be rested for six weeks and sport such as running and cycling should only commence after six weeks.

Full recovery takes three to four months, during which period the patient will be followed up regularly.

If physiotherapy is required, this will be arranged.

The patient will be seen for the first follow-up between one and two weeks after surgery and then further management, physiotherapy etc will be arranged if necessary.