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When you have certain types of knee injuries or when you have injuries that aren’t improving with non-surgical treatment, your doctor might recommend arthroscopic knee surgery. This type of minimally invasive surgery can help repair damage to your knee without the need for large incisions. Find out more about this type of surgery, including how it is done and what recovery is like.

Common Types of Arthroscopic Procedures

There are different kinds of arthroscopic knee procedures that surgeons use for knee injuries. The kind that you might need depends on the type of injury you have. Some of the more common arthroscopic procedures for knee injuries include torn meniscus repair or removal, anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) reconstruction and synovial tissue removal for inflammation. Other arthroscopic procedures are done to remove loose cartilage or bone pieces from the knee and to treat kneecap problems.

How Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Is Done

Arthroscopic knee surgery involves the use of small incisions and tiny surgical instruments, as well as a tiny camera. Surgeons make small incisions in the affected area of the knee, then place the camera and instruments inside them. The camera allows surgeons to see inside the knee while they use surgical instruments to remove damaged tissue and make repairs to knee structures. During this procedure, surgeons watch a screen that shows the images projected by the camera while removing or repairing damage.

Recovery from Arthroscopic Procedures

The recovery time for arthroscopic procedures is generally shorter than recovery from traditional knee surgery. However, you should follow all of the post-surgical care instructions your doctor gives you to ensure a safe recovery. Your doctor will have you limit your physical activity for a certain period of time after your procedure, since you will need to avoid putting weight on the affected knee at first. Your doctor might recommend physical therapy to help you build muscle strength and regain flexibility in your knee while you recover. If you have pain or discomfort after your procedure, ask your doctor about taking pain medication for it. You might have temporary and mild soreness and swelling shortly after surgery.

Benefits of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Having an arthroscopic knee procedure done instead of a traditional procedure offers certain advantages. This type of surgery is minimally invasive, which means that your surgeon does not have to make large incisions to repair damage. Having smaller incisions means that you spend a shorter amount of time in the hospital and can expect to have a faster recovery time before resuming your normal activities. With arthroscopic knee procedures, you should also have less pain than you would after undergoing traditional knee surgery.

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