Knee Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy (also known as keyhole surgery) allows your surgeon to see inside your knee. This is done by inserting a camera by way of small incisions in the skin. This helps your surgeon in diagnosing problems including arthritis, ligament damage and torn cartilage. Your surgeon can also treat some of these conditions during the same operation.

The Operation

Knee arthroscopy is normally performed as a day case. This means that you will be discharged the same day the procedure is performed.

About 2 to 3 small incisions are performed in the knee to insert the arthroscope into your knee joint. Saline (sterile salt water) is pumped into your knee to “wash out” any debris and to improve the visibility.

The camera (arthroscope) sends pictures to a video monitor. The surgeon can see the knee structure in amazing detail.

A simple knee arthroscopy takes anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes.

The procedure is performed by administering a general anaesthetic. You will be discharged once you recover from the anaesthesia and start walking.

This typically takes 2 to 3 hours after the surgery. However, some patients may take longer time to recover.

Although the operation itself is not very painful, you might feel some pain. The pain should improve within a week.

High resolution images obtained during a knee arthroscopy procedure

After the Operation

For the first couple of days, rest the leg and keep it elevated as much as possible. This will keep the pain at bay and ease the swelling. Simple painkillers and cold packs could be used as advised by My Knee Doc. Once swelling subsides and you feel comfortable, you can gradually increase your activities.

Return to Activity

You can return to routine activities within 2 to 3 weeks after the knee arthroscopy. Recovery depends on a lot of factors. These include the extent of damage in the knee, the surgery performed, your fitness levels in general among others.

You may have to avoid high impact activities for a longer time. It’s best to consult your doctor before returning to high intensity activities.

You must perform knee exercises for several weeks after the surgery. Exercise will help a great deal in restoring motion and strengthening the leg and knee muscles.


Like is the case with any surgery, knee arthroscopy has its own risks. However, these are very rare, and usually small complications that can be treated. Complications include blood clots, infection and blood accumulation in the knee.

Call 0161 4646399  today to arrange a consultation with Mr Gareth Stables.