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private knee arthroscopy Manchester

A knee arthroscopy can help investigate and treat your knee problems.

A knee arthroscopy is a type of orthopaedic surgery to treat knee pain. At The Alexandra Hospital we perform this type of knee surgery very regularly. Our Consultant Knee Surgeons are highly experienced specialists.’

A knee arthroscopy is a ‘keyhole’ operation where a Surgeon uses a small camera (arthroscope) to look inside your knee joint. The image is projected onto a monitor, so that your Surgeon can see what’s going on inside your knee.  

The procedure is used to diagnose a variety of problems that might be causing pain in your knee. For some of these issues, treatment can also be performed during the arthroscopy. 

An arthroscopy is a type of ‘keyhole’ surgery, meaning your surgeon will only make small incisions into your knee to perform the operation.

Orthopaedics is a medical specialism focused on the treatment of injuries and disorders of your joints and their associated soft tissues (your ligaments, nerves and muscles). 

These components make up your musculoskeletal system, which helps support your bodily functions and protect your skeletal muscles. 

If damage occurs to your musculoskeletal system, you might experience pain, inflammation and/or swelling in the affected joint. Joint pain can have a severe impact on your everyday life, making small tasks feel like impossible feats. Fortunately, there are many effective treatment options available to help you manage your pain and enjoy an active, fulfilled lifestyle.

A knee arthroscopy can be used to diagnose problems within the joint. So, you might need an arthroscopy if you have persistent joint pain and you would like to know why.  

An arthroscopy can also be used to treat certain problems inside your knee. Quite a variety of issues can be treated during a knee arthroscopy, though certain knee problems will necessitate a different type of surgery.  

Many different knee conditions and injuries to the knee can be treated during this type of operation, including:  

  • Damaged cartilage 
  • A torn meniscus 
  • Inflamed synovial tissue 
  • Osteoarthritis 
  • Rheumatoid arthritis   
  • A torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) 
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome 

There is a broad scope of knee pain symptoms you might experience that could mean you need to have knee arthroscopy surgery at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester. These include: 

  • Chronic knee swelling   
  • Chronic knee stiffness  
  • Reduced mobility in your knee 
  • Limited relief from other treatment options tried, such as anti-inflammatory medication or heat therapy   
  • Chronic pain induced by joint pain conditions, such as osteoarthritis of the knee  
  • Chronic knee pain   

At The Alexandra Hospital, we have a network of caring and compassionate Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeons eager to help diagnose and treat you knee problems. We aim to schedule your initial consultation within 48 hours of you first getting in touch. 

At this first appointment, your Consultant will enquire about your general health and complete a detailed examination of your medical history. They will want to know whether you have any existing medical conditions, and of course they will ask all about the symptoms that have brought you to see them and how they affect you  in your everyday life.  

During your initial consultation, your Consultant will gently carry out a physical examination of your joint(s), or an X-Ray will be taken, if required. This will be performed by a Radiologist 

Remember, you can ask your Consultant any questions you might have about your symptoms during this consultation. They are there to listen and provide comprehensive, accurate answers to any queries you might have. 

Once this process is complete, your Consultant will tell you whether you do need a knee arthroscopy. This will either be to perform further diagnosis, to perform treatment, or both.  

If, during this initial consultation, you are told you do need a knee arthroscopy, you should be able to make a booking for the operation before you leave the hospital.  

Your Consultant will keep you informed throughout every step of your healthcare journey, from your initial consultation right through to your recovery period at home.  

They will be supported by a multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals, including Physiotherapists and Pain Management Specialists, who are also there to help facilitate your speedy recovery and provide exceptional standards of care. 

What many people don’t realise, is that you can actually start working towards a good recovery even before you have surgery. The healthier you are beforehand, the better your chances of a good recovery.  

Your Orthopaedic Surgeon might recommend you incorporate certain lifestyle factors in preparation for knee arthroscopy. These can include:    

Losing excess weight: Your Consultant might ask that you try to lose weight before surgery, through maintaining a balanced diet and exercise regime. This is because excess weight can increase the risk of complications occurring during surgery. 

Developing muscle strength: Strengthening the muscles around your knee before surgery can help you make the most of your results. You can do this through low-impact exercise, such as swimming and walking. You might also be referred to a Physiotherapist, who can guide you through specialist exercises to carry out before surgery. 

Avoiding drinking alcohol before surgery: You should not drink alcohol for at least 48 hours before surgery. Please discuss this with your Consultant in more detail. 

Before surgery, you should also: 

Discuss food requirements with your Consultant: Your Consultant will ensure you understand the sort of food you should eat before surgery. If needed, you can work with a Dietician to build a tailored-to-you food plan to follow before and after your surgery. Please discuss this with your Consultant in more detail. 

Discuss medication requirements with your Consultant: Your Consultant will also share whether you should avoid taking your usual medication before going into hospital.  

On the day of your arthroscopic knee surgery, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will explain what will happen during the procedure and throughout your recovery. They will also explain the many benefits of having knee arthroscopy, including reduced symptoms and vast improvement in movement. Your healthcare team will check your blood pressure and heart rate to ensure you are fit and healthy for surgery. 

What kind of anaesthesia is used during knee arthroscopy?

General anaesthetic is usually administered before a knee arthroscopy. However, you might be offered a spinal anaesthetic (an injection in your lower back to numb the bottom part of your body) as an alternative. During the procedure, a local anaesthetic might be injected into your knee to minimise any pain after the procedure. 

Once you are under anaesthetic, a pressure cuff will be placed around your upper thigh to restrict blood flow to your knee. This offers your Orthopaedic Surgeon a clearer view of the inside of your knee. 

Afterwards, your surgeon will make three small incisions in the skin on the side of your knee to create portals (holes) in your knee joint. An arthroscope (a thin tube with a camera and a light attached to it) will be passed through one of these portals in your knee. A saline solution will then be passed through one of the other portals (holes) in your knee joint. The solution allows the inside of your joint to be seen more clearly. Specialised instruments will then be passed into the third portal in your knee to perform your arthroscopic surgery. Your arthroscopic procedure will depend on your diagnosis. In some instances, it can involve removing or trimming any damaged tissue or cartilage as a form of treatment. 

There are several types of arthroscopic knee surgeries, including:    

Arthroscopic washout (lavage):
Arthroscopic lavage, also called an arthroscopic washout, is when your knee joint is flushed with a fluid that is passed through one of the incisions in your knee. This removes any loose tissue or bone. This arthroscopic procedure is often performed alongside an arthroscopic debridement. 

Arthroscopic debridement: During an arthroscopic debridement, specialised instruments are passed through one of the incisions in your knee to remove any damaged or loose cartilage or bone in your joint. 

Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy: An arthroscopic partial meniscectomy (APM) is the most common meniscal repair knee procedure performed in the UK. It refers to the partial removal of a torn meniscus. 

Meniscectomy: Knee arthroscopy for a torn meniscus involves the complete surgical removal of a torn meniscus.  

How long does a knee arthroscopy take?

An arthroscopy can take between 30 minutes to two hours to perform. But this will depend on the type of procedure that you have. You will usually be able to return home the same day as your surgery, or the following day. 

Your knee arthroscopy recovery time depends on a variety of factors, including:  

  • Whether you had treatment during your arthroscopic surgery, or just a diagnosis 
  • Your usual everyday activities 
  • The nature of your job   
  • Your age 
  • How fit you were before having surgery 

You should be resting at home 48 hours after surgery. At this stage in your recovery, you will be able to remove any dressing from your knee. Your Consultant will explain when you can bathe or shower after surgery.  

Swelling after knee arthroscopy is common. If you experience this, as well as any residual pain, you can take over-the-counter medication, or try heat therapy in the form of an ice pack or heat pack to relieve your symptoms. If your knee still hurts after arthroscopy surgery, do not be alarmed. If pain persists, speak with your Consultant. They will be able to advise on the best course of action for this situation 

Around two to three weeks after surgery, you should be able to enjoy low-impact exercise, such as swimming, cycling or walking. It is important to try these to continue to strengthen the muscles around your knee(s) and improve your mobility. 

You should avoid impact exercise for at least six weeks.  

How soon can you drive after knee arthroscopy surgery?


According to The Royal College of Surgeons, you should refrain from driving for at least one week after an arthroscopic knee operation. This is until the swelling reduces in your knee and your range of motion improves. You should speak with your Consultant about this in more detail. 

Physiotherapy rehabilitation after knee arthroscopy surgery

Your Physiotherapist will work with you to build a specialist exercise plan tailored to your needs following surgery. These exercises will strengthen your knee muscles and improve your mobility, accelerating your recovery in turn.  

Your Physiotherapist will also help you incorporate exercise into your daily routine at home.  

They will advise how regularly you should perform these exercises outside of your sessions, as well as any equipment you might need to facilitate them. 

At The Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle, we welcome patients from across the UK and beyond. Many of our patients are from Manchester and the surrounding area of Greater Manchester. This includes Stockport, Tameside, Salford, and Trafford. People also travel to us from further afield, including Cheshire East, the Lake District, Staffordshire, Derbyshire, and outside of the UK. This broad scope of locations reflects our vast range of successful treatment options and clinical services, delivered by expert multidisciplinary teams of coveted experts from around the world. 

There are many benefits to having treatment with us, including: 

Consultant-led care: We have a network of over 600 brilliant Consultants to choose from, many of whom hold teaching responsibilities and are renowned for their experience. We also have a team of resident doctors available to deliver expert, around-the-clock care when you need it. 

Comfort and privacy: 
All our bedrooms are private and equipped with en-suite facilities, a nurse call system, a telephone, television and free Wi-Fi. 

Innovation: We combine the latest, modern technologies with the delivery of expert care. This technology includes CT scanning, MRI and X-Ray as well as robotic technologies. 

Speed: Face-to-face and online appointments are available with a Consultant of your choice, where and when you need one. 

Accessibility: We offer flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your care. You can pay for yourself, no health insurance needed. (Though of course we accept private health insurance if you have it!) 

During arthroscopic surgery, your Consultant will make small incisions in your skin. During ‘open’ surgery, your Consultant will typically make one large incision and operate through it – this is known as a more invasive surgical technique.  

There are many benefits of having knee arthroscopy surgery over ‘open’ surgery, including:  

  • Better mobility following the operation 
  • A lower risk of infection 
  • A lower risk of scarring  
  • A faster recovery time 
  • Reduced pain following the operation 
  • A faster return to your home and everyday life*  

* After arthroscopic surgery, you can usually return home on the same day as your procedure (known as a day case procedure). Your doctor may recommend you stay overnight if they deem it necessary based on your circumstances, but this is unlikely

As with any surgery, there are risks that can occur following your knee arthroscopy. The risks and complications associated with arthroscopic knee surgery include:   

Infection: If you do suffer an infection, this can be treated quickly and effectively with antibiotics. 

A blood clot: As you will be able to move around after your surgery, it is unlikely that this risk factor will occur. Our team will help you get moving as soon as possible. 

Scarring:
You could have small scars where your incisions were made, but these should heal naturally over time. 

Swelling: Although it is common to experience swelling in your knee after an arthroscopy, this swelling should only last for up to three weeks. 

Your Consultant will discuss these risk factors with you in more depth. They will be able to put your mind at ease regarding any concerns you might have about them. 

The knee arthroscopy price at The Alexandra Hospital starts from £4,306*

The cost of knee arthroscopy at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester will vary depending on your chosen hospital, Consultant, diagnosis, and the type of procedure that you could require. 

Your initial consultation at one of our hospitals will cost around £200. If you are advised knee arthroscopy surgery, the cost of this procedure starts from £4,306. However, if you are experiencing problems in both your knees, your Orthopaedic specialist could advise having bilateral arthroscopy. A bilateral arthroscopy (an arthroscopy in both knees) can cost around £6,185.

It is important to note the above prices are only a guide price. Your final arthroscopy cost will be confirmed in writing after your consultation and any necessary diagnostic tests. These prices cover the cost of your anaesthesia, surgery and your aftercare.

At our hospitals, we offer flexible payment options to help you spread the cost of your treatment over a period that suits you. 

If you’re battling knee pain and want to know why – our team at The Alexandra Hospital in Manchester is here to help diagnose your pain and build a tailored treatment plan for you.

To begin your healthcare journey with us, call us on 0161 428 3656 or book your appointment online today. 

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