Arthroscopic surgery procedures are often used to treat knee problems due to injury and disease. It is a procedure where surgical instruments are placed into the knee joint through a small incision measuring less than a half inch. The procedure will usually require two to four incisions. The instruments involve a scop and surgical tools that allow the surgeon the ability to investigate, cut, and manipulate tissues inside of the knee. The scope is smaller than a standard pencil and has a magnifying lens and a light, enabling surgeons to see what is happening inside the knee through a monitor in the operating room. The joint of the knee needs to be filled with a sterile fluid to allow the scope to move around inside the joint.
The scope allows surgeons to evaluate different parts of the knee joint without evasive surgical procedures. The surgical instruments are used to trim or remove torn cartilage and perform other procedures necessary for evaluation or treatment.
The arthroscope used in the surgery allows the surgeon to view the different parts of the knee and make a more accurate diagnosis. They can view the cartilage to find tears or signs of wear which is a sign of arthritis. This breakdown of cartilage can be due to age, infection, injury, or from rheumatoid issues. As arthritis begins to develop, the individual will experience swelling and pain. While surgery can help diagnose arthritis but cartilage cannot grow back on its own.
There is also another kind of cartilage in the knee that gets injured known as the meniscus. It is a tougher cartilage that works as a shock absorber between the tibia and the femur. When a tear in the meniscus occurs, it may be able to heal on its own depending on the supply of blood going to the area. Arthroscopic surgery can help alleviate pain and reduce swelling in the knee after an injury. Recovery will depend on how deep the surgical procedure was but typically 7-10 days will be needed before normal activity can be resumed.