Arthroscopy of the knee

Arthroscopy of the knee is a common and useful operation. It is a "keyhole" examination of the knee carried out usually under a major anaesthetic.

The knee is examined through small incisions less than 1 cm long using a specialised telescope (the arthroscope) and specially designed arthroscopic instruments.

In addition to inspecting the surfaces of the knee, many surgical procedures can be carried out at arthroscopy. These include repair or removal of a damaged meniscus, removal of loose bodies, lateral release, smoothing of the joint surfaces, micro-fracture, and removal of diseased synovium (lining of the knee).

Surgery is usually carried out on a day case basis. Patients with other medical problems may be required to stay in hospital overnight for anaesthetic reasons. Return to normal activity and weightbearing is advised by the treating surgeon and depends on the actual procedure carried out.