Knee
Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is keyhole surgery that uses a small tool called an arthroscope to diagnose and sometimes treat issues in your knee joint. It is usually carried out if you have an injury or knee pain, swelling, and/or stiffness, that is restricting your movement, inhibiting your sleep and impacting on your day to day quality of life, and non-surgical treatments such as physiotherapy, medication and injections are not working.

What is knee arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy involves your orthopaedic surgeon inserting a tiny camera, called an arthroscope, into your knee to find out more about your knee pain. This day case surgery is usually performed under general anaesthetic and takes thirty minutes to an hour. Whilst the camera is in place your surgeon may: take small tissue samples (biopsies) to confirm a diagnosis such as an infection, or treat your knee problem by repairing or removing damaged tissue.

Knee arthroscopy is often used to:
  • Assess damage due to a sports injury or the wear and tear of osteoarthritis.
  • Remove fragments of loose bone or cartilage that may be caught in your knee joint.
  • Repair or trim damaged or torn cartilage, for example, the knee meniscus and ligaments such as anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments.
  • Treat a displaced patella.
  • Remove swollen synovium (lining in your knee joint).
  • Internally fix a knee fracture.

What are the benefits of a knee arthroscopy?

The main benefits of knee arthroscopy surgery are that it can diagnose and treat knee problems at the same time so you don’t need additional surgery, and as it is a minimally invasive surgery it involves less tissue damage, reduced pain after the procedure, less scarring, and a faster recovery time compared to open surgery.

How long is recovery from a knee arthroscopy?

Your knee arthroscopy recovery time will depend on multiple factors such as the specific procedure you’ve had and your physical health. Your surgeon will discuss with you how long they expect your recovery to take. Most people make a good recovery. You can expect to return to normal activities in a few weeks.

What is the cost of a knee arthroscopy?

The guide package price for keyhole knee arthroscopy surgery is £3550. Included in this package is unlimited aftercare for peace of mind. You may be able to use your private medical insurance to cover the cost of your knee arthroscopy surgery. You should get written confirmation that your insurance provider will cover your procedure before commencing treatment. Here at West Valley Hospital we have several finance options for you to choose from to pay for your surgery. These include All-inclusive Total Care with a single payment at a pre-agreed price that brings you all the treatment you need for complete reassurance, pay as you go and, interest-free medical finance loans.

What happens after a knee arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy surgery is a day case procedure so you should be able to go home the same day with recovery advice from your surgeon including the activities you should avoid until you are fully recovered, and some exercises from your physiotherapist to do at home to help strengthen the muscles around your knee and aid your recovery. You can expect bruising, swelling, stiffness, and discomfort after your arthroscopy for a few days or sometimes weeks. An icepack can be applied and you should keep your leg elevated to help reduce swelling. You may be prescribed painkillers or recommended to take over-the-counter drugs for pain management. Initially, if walking is uncomfortable, you may need a walking aid such as crutches. You should be able to return to work and perform light, physical activities within a few weeks but this will depend on the physical demands of your job and the nature of the surgery performed. You will be able to drive when it feels safe to perform an emergency stop. You can resume sports when your knee is strong enough and the swelling has gone down. Typically, it is two months for patients to resume normal sporting activities, but more demanding physical activities such as lifting may take longer. You will see your surgeon for a follow-up appointment during which you can discuss any questions regarding your post-operative recovery.

Knee arthroscopy with West Valley Hospital

The latest techniques in keyhole knee arthroscopy is regularly performed at West Valley Hospital by our highly experienced and skilled orthopaedic surgeons to ensure our patients can resume their daily lives without pain as quickly as possible. Our award-winning physiotherapy service offers expert and individualised exercise advice to additionally support a fast recovery from knee arthroscopy.

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