Healing From Knee Arthroscopy: What to Expect

Knee arthroscopy is both a diagnostic and treatment tool. These days, it's widely used to treat a variety of knee injuries because it's a minimally invasive procedure. Minimally invasive means less blood, pain, and scarring for most injuries.

The term arthroscopy comes from two Greek words: “arthro" (joint) and "skopein" (to look). Together, it means to "look inside the joint." 

Board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon James Lee Jr., MD, of Orange Orthopaedic Associates has extensive experience performing high-tech surgeries such as arthroscopic knee surgery, as well as conventional open surgeries.

Knee pain is common and can be debilitating. Here, we share the benefits of arthroscopic surgery as a diagnostic tool and effective treatment procedure and what to expect after the surgery. 

What is knee arthroscopy?

During knee arthroscopy, Dr. Lee makes several small incisions around your knee. In one of the incisions, he inserts a tiny camera called an arthroscope so he can look around your knee to figure out the source of your pain and problem. The camera displays the inside of the knee on a large monitor.

To treat your knee problem, Dr. Lee inserts small instruments into the other incisions, while using the camera-generated images to help him. 

Because the incisions are small, there is less bleeding, pain, and scarring than a traditional open surgery, which requires a larger cut to perform the procedure.

What conditions can arthroscopy treat?

The knee is a complex grouping of cartilage, bone, ligaments, muscles, and tendons. Many injuries and issues can affect your knee. When you experience knee problems, it can interfere with sports, walking, and standing up and sitting down. 

Common knee injuries that Dr. Lee can treat with arthroscopic surgery include:

One of the most common knee issues is osteoarthritis. If you have osteoarthritis, talk to Dr. Lee to see if arthroscopic knee surgery can help you.

What should I expect during and after the procedure?

Depending on the injury, you receive local or regional anesthesia, which means you're still awake, or general anesthesia, which puts you to sleep during the procedure. Dr. Lee makes a few small incisions and then pumps in saline solution to expand your knee, which makes it easier to see on the monitor. 

For most arthroscopic procedures, you can leave the clinic the same day as your surgery. One of the benefits of arthroscopic surgery over open surgery is quicker recovery time. But you still need to rest and follow our directions for recovery. 

You may need crutches and will need to ice your knee and keep it elevated. In most cases, you need to do physical therapy as part of your rehabilitation to get you back to your pre-injury strength and mobility. 

Do you have knee pain? Are you wondering if knee arthroscopy can help you? Contact us at Orange Orthopaedic Associates in West Orange, Bayonne, or Tenafly, New Jersey, to make an appointment.

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