Knee Arthroscopy Education
Arthroscopy is a very common operation in which a joint (arthro-) is looked at (-scopy) with a little camera. Arthroscopy gives doctors a clear look at the inside of the knee. This can help them identify and address knee issues of residents in the Mexico, Missouri area.
Technological improvements have brought about high-definition displays and high quality cameras. These and other advancements have made arthroscopy a very effective instrument for the treatment of knee troubles. According to the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine, more than 4 million knee arthroscopies are performed worldwide annually.
Arthroscopy is accomplished with small incisions. In the procedure, your orthopaedic operating surgeon implants the arthroscope (a little camera instrument approximately the dimensions of a pencil) into the knee-joint. The arthroscope transfers the image to a television monitor. On the monitor, your operating surgeon can see the structures of the knee in great detail.
Your doctor may use arthroscopy to feel, restore or get rid of damaged tissue. For this, little surgical products are inserted through other cuts around your knee.
Getting Ready for Surgery
If you have knee arthroscopy, you may need a full physical exam with your family doctor prior to surgery. He or she will assess your state of health and look for any things that may affect your surgery.
Prior to surgery, tell your orthopaedic surgeon about any medicines or supplements that you take. They will inform you which medicines you should stop taking before surgery.
To help arrange your operation, your orthopaedic operating surgeon may order pre-operative tests. These may include blood counts or an EKG (electrocardiogram).
Virtually all arthroscopic knee surgery in the Mid-MO area is conducted on an outpatient basis.
Your hospital or surgery center will get in touch with you with particular information about your appointment. You'll likely be required to arrive at the hospital an hour or so prior to your surgery. Don't eat or drink anything after midnight the night just before your procedure.
When you first show up for surgical procedure, a part of the anesthesia team will talk to you. Arthroscopy can be carried out under local, regional, or general anesthesia.
• Local anesthesia numbs exclusively your knee
• Regional anesthesia numbs you beneath your waistline
• General anesthesia puts you to sleep
The anesthesiologist can help you decide which method would be best for you.
For people with local or regional anesthesia, you may well be able to look at the process on a television monitor.
The orthopaedic surgeon will make several little incisions in your knee. A sterile solution is going to be used to fill the knee joint and wash away any cloudy fluid. This helps your orthopaedic operating doctor see your knee plainly and in fantastic detail.
Your surgeon's very first task is to correctly identify the problem you have. He or she will introduce the arthroscope and utilize the image projected on the screen to steer it. If surgical treatment is required, your surgeon will introduce tiny instruments through another small incision. These instruments might be scissors, motorized shavers, or lasers.
This portion of the procedure generally lasts thirty minutes to more than an hour. How long it requires is dependent upon the findings and the treatment necessary.
Arthroscopy for the knee is most commonly utilized for:
• Elimination or repair of torn meniscal cartilage
• Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
• Trimming of torn pieces of articular cartilage
• Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
• Removing of inflamed synovial tissue
Your doctor may close your lacerations with a stitch or steri-strips (small bandaids) and cover all of them with a soft bandage.
You'll be relocated to the recovery room and ought to be able to go back home within a few hours. Be sure to have someone with you to drive you home.
Recovery from knee arthroscopy is much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery. Nevertheless, it is essential to stick to your orthopaedic surgeon's guidance carefully once you return home. Ask someone to check up on you the very first evening you are home.
Keep your leg elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery. Apply ice as suggested by your physician to alleviate swelling and pain.
You can expect to leave the hospital with a dressing covering your knee. Keep your incisions clean and dry. Your doctor will tell you when you are able to shower or bathe, and when you need to change the dressing.
Your surgeon will see you at the office a short time following surgical procedure to check out your progress, review the surgical findings, and begin your postoperative treatment plan.
Most patients require crutches or other support following arthroscopic surgery. Your surgeon will show you when it is okay to put weight on your foot and leg. If you've got any questions relating to bearing weight, contact your doctor.
Your doctor will discuss with you when you may drive. This decision is dependent on several factors, including:
• The knee involved
• Whether you drive an automatic or stick shift
• The nature of the treatment
• Your degree of soreness
• If you are using narcotic pain medications
• Exactly how well you can control your knee.
Generally, patients can drive from 1 to 3 weeks after the surgery.
The doctor will prescribe pain medicine to help alleviate discomfort following your operation. He may also recommend medication such as aspirin to minimize the risk of blood clots.
Exercises to Strengthen Your Knee
You should exercise your knee regularly for a number of weeks after surgery. This will restore movement and strengthen the muscles of your leg and knee.
Therapeutic exercise will have an important role in how good you recover. A formal physical therapy program could improve your final result.
Complications and Warning Signs
As with all surgical procedure, there are concerns connected to knee arthroscopy. These take place infrequently and are small and treatable.
Potential postoperative problems with knee arthroscopy include:
• Blood clotting
• Accumulation of blood in the knee
Call your orthopaedic surgeon right away should you experience any of the following:
• Persistent warmth or redness on the knee joint
• Persistent or increased pain
• Significant inflammation in your knee
• Growing pain in your calf muscle
Unless you have a ligament reconstruction, you should be able to return to most physical activities after six to eight weeks, or sometimes much sooner. Higher impact activities may need to be avoided for a longer time. You will need to consult with your doctor before returning to intense physical exercises.
If your job requires heavy work, it can be longer before you can resume your work. Discuss when you can finally safely get back to work with your physician.
The final results of your operation will most likely be dependent on the degree of damage to your knee. For example, if the articular cartilage in your knee has worn out completely, then complete recovery may not be possible. You might need to modify your lifestyle. This may mean limiting your activities and finding low-impact exercise alternatives.
Dr. Weaver with Audrain Orthopaedic Services has an in depth knowledge of this and many other orthopaedic surgery methods offered to the people of Mexico, Fulton, Columbia, and Moberly, Missouri. To learn what choice is the best for you, contact her today.