Understanding The Knee Arthroscopy Process

By September 27, 2018Medical Services

Knee Arthroscopy is a surgical treatment that is used to diagnose and treat knee joint problems. The surgery involves a small cut that is used to insert a tiny camera into the skin. The camera is called arthroscope, hence the term, arthroscopy. The camera helps the surgeon look inside the joint and see any problem area. The surgeon can easily view the inside of the joint through a screen connected with the camera and using small instruments within the arthroscope, the surgeon can cure the problem.  

The entire process takes about 30 minutes and this is one of the reasons why Knee arthroscopy Gold Coast is becoming more and more popular. It is also because this surgery can easily diagnose the problem using less invasive methods. The treatment can diagnose a number of problems including joint pain and stiffness, damaged cartilage or bone and the build-up of any kind of fluid inside the joint. The benefits of choosing this surgical treatment over other knee surgeries include a faster healing time, less invasive technique which results in fewer stitches and lesser pain. The surgery also offers lesser chances of infection due to small incisions. The surgery, however, is a limited solution and cannot be applied for every knee problem.  

Preparing for a Knee Arthroscopy  

Before the day of the surgery, the doctor will provide you with all the instructions and precautions necessary before the treatment. You may be required to stop eating about almost 12 hours before the surgery. The surgeon will tell you about a detailed diet plan that you need to follow for a day before the surgery and if you’re not provided one, make sure you ask about it. It will save you from any kind of infection later on. You also need to discuss about any over-the-counter medications that you might be taking regularly since certain medicines like aspirin or ibuprofen, are recommended to be stopped weeks before the surgery.   

In some cases, the doctors prescribes the medicines for the expected pain after the surgery, in advance. It is a very wise option since after the surgery, it might be difficult for you to get the medicines if you don’t have someone to take care of you. So, if the doctor does provide you with a prescription in advance, make sure you follow it accordingly. This can really save you from a hard time after the surgery.  

The procedure 

The first and foremost, the patient is given anesthetic to numb the knee. The type of anesthetic that the surgeon uses depends on the condition of treatment, how long the process is going to take. If it’s a short procedure and only one knee needs to be fixed, the surgeon will be using a local anesthetic to numb the target knee only. However, if both knees need to be treated or if the intensity of the incision is higher than normal then in such a scenario, the surgeon will be using regional anesthetic that numbs all areas below the waist. In extreme cases, the surgeon might be using a general anesthetic that puts the patient to sleep. If the patient is awake during the procedure, he/she can view the entire procedure on a screen, if they want to.
The surgeon begins with a few cuts in the knee. Salt water will be used to expand the knee for ease in the process. Salt water expands the knee which makes it easier for the doctor to diagnose and work on the problem. After that, the camera, the arthroscope is inserted through the cut and the doctor sees the joint from the inside. After the problem is diagnosed, the surgeon uses small tools to cure the problem. Once the issue has been fixed, the surgeon drains out the saline water and uses stitches to close the cuts.  

Possible Risks 

Like any medical treatment, there are some possible risks involved with the procedure, but if proper care is taken before, during and after the surgery, no such issue will be faced. The surgeon too, needs to be careful about the precautions and possible risks which include any kind of infection during the treatment due to hygienic issues, breathing difficulty or allergic reaction due to anesthesia, bleeding inside the joint, formation of a blood clot or any damage of the vein or cartilage. The surgeon needs to be very careful about these possible risks and a good surgeon will be careful. You can easily find a well-experienced surgeon in cities like Gold Coast.  

Post-Treatment  

Once you return home after the treatment, which you will on the same day of the surgery, make sure you have someone to take care of you for a day. You will not be allowed to bend your knee, let along involve in any physical activity. The bandage will be used for next 48 hours so you cannot take shower for next 48 hours. Moreover, you might be required to do some light exercises like bending and straightening the knee, a few days after the surgery.