Cleaning Up a Knee

The development of the arthroscope and miniature surgical instruments and techniques has dramatically changed surgical procedures. These technological advances have really made a difference in orthopedic surgeries. Arthroscopy can now be used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems, making for far easier, faster recovery times.

At the Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, we use arthroscopy to help our patients return to the activities they love as soon as possible.

How is knee arthroscopy done?

After cleaning the area and providing anesthesia, we make a few small incisions, called “portals,” into your knee. We then inject a sterile saline solution into the knee joint. This rinses away any cloudy fluid in the joint and it expands the skin to allow us to clearly see the structures in your knee.

We insert the arthroscope through one of the incisions to first get a good view of the damage. Then we use the arthroscope to guide us as we insert the tiny instruments necessary to repair the damage. These instruments vary depending on your injury. They are used for tasks such as shaving, cutting, grasping, and meniscal repair.

When the repairs are complete, we close the small incisions with either a stitch or often with only steri-strips. We then wrap your knee with a soft bandage and the procedure is complete.

When is arthroscopy recommended?

For knee injuries other than full ligament tears the damage is often painful, but the knee still has stability. In these cases, nonsurgical treatments, such as physical therapy, will usually be the first phase of treatment. If these methods don’t improve your pain, we may recommend arthroscopy.

These are common arthroscopic procedures we perform on the knee:

  • Removal or repair of a torn meniscus
  • Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
  • Trimming of damaged articular cartilage
  • Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
  • Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
  • Treatment of problems with the patella (kneecap)
  • Treatment of knee infections

How long does knee arthroscopy last?

Most knee arthroscopies last less than an hour. Of course, this varies once we are inside and see the extent of the damage that needs repair.

Do you have knee pain? You could have issues with your articular cartilage at the base of your femur, with the meniscus in your knee, or other issues as described above. Call us at Urgent Orthopedic Specialists, (432) 520-3020, and let’s check it out.

Posted in: Arthroscopy

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