Knee Arthroscopy, commonly referred to as ‘Keyhole Surgery’, is often undertaken for the treatment of meniscal (cartilage) tears. Meniscal tears may be caused by a sports injury but can also result from apparently innocuous twisting of the knee during day-to-day activity.
A meniscal tear typically presents with localised pain, knee swelling, intermittent locking and loss of bulk in the thigh muscles. The diagnosis may be made by simple clinical examination, but where doubt remains an MRI scan can be useful. Rest, pain relief and physiotherapy may be helpful, however, if symptoms fail to settle arthroscopy will be recommended.
Keyhole knee surgery is commonly done under general anaesthetic as a day case procedure. The operation takes between 20 and 30 minutes and involves 2 small incisions on the front of the knee. The arthroscope, a small telescope, is introduced into the knee allowing inspection of the inside of the joint. Specialised arthroscopic instruments are then used to excise, or in some cases to repair, the torn piece of the meniscus.
Post-operative rehabilitation begins with rest and gentle physio exercises for the first two weeks. When necessary formal physiotherapy will be arranged with a view to returning to normal activity and physical exercise at about 4 to 6 weeks.
If your knee requires keyhole surgery, or if you just want us to thoroughly assess your knee please get in touch with the South West regions orthopaedic experts via our appointment page.