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What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

By Jacob Queen
Updated May 17, 2024
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Arthroscopic knee surgery is a way of performing several procedures on the knee joint. There are versions of arthroscopic surgery for other joints as well, and what makes them unique is the use of small cameras inserted into the body along with small incisions and tools. Arthroscopic knee surgery is considered particularly popular and it is used to treat a wide variety of problems with the knee joint. The main advantages of this procedure compared to other surgery methods is an increase in safety, faster recovery time, and a lower number of complications.

Some versions of arthroscopic knee surgery are designed to get inside the knee and remove damaged pieces of cartilage. This can help with a wide variety of knee problems, including arthritis and several sports-related conditions. Another common use for arthroscopic knee surgery is to actually repair the joint, which can involve grafting pieces of cartilage or even replacing pieces of cartilage with artificial prostheses. The tools used will vary significantly depending on the goal of the surgery.

Like most knee surgeries, arthroscopic procedures do require a certain amount of recovery time. Once doctors get into the knee and start changing things, it can take time for the joint to regain full functionality. Most arthroscopic procedures will allow the patient to walk pretty quickly, but it can take many months before the knee is able to support the full weight without any tenderness.

Recovering from arthroscopic knee surgery will also generally involve some amount of physical therapy. In some cases, this may be performed by the patient at home, and it can involve doing daily knee exercises to restore normal motion and encourage healing. Some people will actually visit a physical therapist for a while after the surgery, and this would be more common with surgeries that require larger changes to the knee joint.

The knee is a crucial joint for many daily activities, and it is very common to suffer overuse injuries. Many people require knee surgery in order to continue working and living a normal life. Some people have a lot of chronic pain that can potentially be curbed by having knee surgery. Sometimes people may put off a surgery because of worries that they will miss too much work, but arthroscopic surgery is sometimes an option for these people because of the fast recovery times.

WiseGEEK is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.

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