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A knee arthroscopy can help investigate and treat your knee problems.
Younger people can also benefit from an arthroscopic operation. This is usually following a traumatic fall or sports injury that causes direct damage to your knee.
Knee arthroscopy is usually considered when alternative treatments such as pain relief medication, steroid injections and physiotherapy have not been able to alleviate the symptoms in your knee (such as pain, swelling or stiffness). Some of the many reasons why you might be advised to have an arthroscopy include:
If you are advised to have arthroscopic knee surgery, your Consultant will explain how to prepare for your procedure, what happens during your surgery and the benefits that are involved. Your Consultant will also discuss your recovery and any rehabilitation that you might need following your surgery.
As with any surgical procedure, you will be asked to improve your fitness to support your overall health. In addition to improving your fitness, you could be required to make some changes to your lifestyle. These include:
Quitting smoking: Smoking significantly increases your risk of suffering complications during and following orthopaedic surgery. By avoiding smoking before your procedure, you can minimise your risk of experiencing complications from anaesthesia and delayed wound healing. If you smoke, your Consultant can offer you more information and support on how to quit smoking and when to stop smoking before your arthroscopy.
Weight loss: Being overweight can put you at risk of experiencing complications from anaesthesia (this is administered before your arthroscopic surgery). If you are overweight, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will therefore advise losing weight before your procedure. As well as minimising complications from anaesthesia, weight loss can relieve pressure on your joint which, in turn, can alleviate your knee pain.
Knee exercises: You will be given exercises to do before and after your surgery. These exercises will be explained to you by a Physiotherapist at your chosen hospital.
Things to do
Things to avoid
On the day of your arthroscopic knee surgery, your Orthopaedic Surgeon will explain what will happen during your procedure, including the risks, benefits and what to expect after your surgery. Your healthcare team will also check your blood pressure and heart rate.
Your Physiotherapist will give you exercises to do before and after your procedure as part of your treatment plan. Recovery exercises after an arthroscopy will include circulation exercises, exercises for your quadriceps (the muscle located in the front of your thigh), knee flexion (bending) exercises and knee extension (straightening) exercises.
You might be asked to repeat these exercises at least four times a day. Knee strengthening exercises can strengthen the muscles surrounding your knee and help expand your iliotibial band (a band of tissue) running down your thigh. While exercises that stretch your quadriceps can boost the flexibility of the muscles located between your hip and knee. Physiotherapy exercises after an arthroscopy can support your recovery and gradual return to your normal activities.
Mr Paul Nicolai: A knee arthroscopy can be performed to treat meniscal (cartilage) tears, impingement, and plica syndrome. Plica syndrome happens when your plica (folds of synovial membrane that lubricates the lining of your joints) becomes attached to the inner part of your kneecap, causing significant knee pain. A knee arthroscopy can also be carried out to take biopsies (a tissue sample), treat defects in your cartilage, and remove scar tissue.
Mr Paul Nicolai: Knee arthroscopy is an intermediate surgery. It is often performed as a day case procedure where patients can walk out of hospital on the same day. In most cases, patients can leave hospital without the support of a walking aid.
Mr Paul Nicolai: It is often the case that no physiotherapy equipment is necessary, but elastic resistance bands can be used to help with muscle strengthening. A cooling sleeve or ice packs can help relieve any inflammation.
For further information about physiotherapy sessions to support your recovery after knee surgery or to improve your knee pain, book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.