What is knee arthroscopy ?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows doctors to examine, diagnose, and treat issues of joints and the adjoining area. In knee arthroscopy, the orthopaedic surgeon can view your knee joint without making any major incision and can diagnose, treat, and repair various knee joint conditions that might cause joint or mobility difficulties.
Advantages of Knee Arthroscopy
Arthroscopic surgery has already become a popular and preferred method of joint treatments and corrections owing to its multiple advantages. In this procedure, patients experience less pain and joint stiffness, and the time it takes to recuperate and resume preferred activities is also reduced.
Some other advantages of Knee arthroscopy are:
- Less bleeding during surgery
- Reduced risk of complications
- Shorter Recovery Period
- Low risk of infection due to smaller incisions
- Less tissue damage
Conditions Treated by Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
If you have any signs of a painful problem that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment, the doctor may prescribe knee arthroscopy. It will relieve painful symptoms caused by a wide variety of disorders that cause damage to the cartilage surfaces and soft tissues around the joint.
Arthroscopic surgery can be used to diagnose and treat a variety of knee ailments:
- Anterior cruciate ligament injuries (ACL)
- Posterior cruciate ligaments (PCL)
- Torn Meniscus
- Cartilage Injuries and repair
- Swollen synovium
- Removal of bone or cartilage fragments
- Knee Ligament Injuries
Arthroscopic Knee Procedures
ACL (Anterior Cruciate Ligament) reconstruction is a surgical treatment that replaces a torn ACL which is a band of tissue present inside the knee. It gets damaged due to stretches during arduous physical training, road accidents, or other trauma concerning the knee. Sports injuries are common in athletes because they perform motions that put a lot of strain on the knee. ACL injuries are quite common in sports like soccer, football, basketball, and volleyball, which involve sudden stops and changes in direction.
When the ACL is healthy, it aids in the stability of the knee bones. It also helps in the stability of the knee. If the ACL gets damaged, then there may be difficulty while walking or participating in any sports.
ACL is usually treated with arthroscopic surgery. The orthopaedic surgeon makes a small cut around the knee and implants tiny tools and cameras to perform the procedure.
Why ACL repair is done?
A person might need to go for the surgery if:
The goal of ACL surgery is to restore normal knee stability and function, limit the loss of function in the knee, and prevent injury or degeneration of other knee structures.
- The ACL is completely or partially torn and the knee is highly unstable.
- You've completed a rehabilitation treatment, still the knee remains unstable.
- You are willing to go through a long and arduous rehabilitation programme.
- Have chronic ACL deficiency which affects the quality of life by making the knee weak.
- Other elements of the knee, such as the cartilage or meniscus, as well as other knee ligaments or tendons, have been affected.
Post ACL Reconstruction
Following ACL surgery, the patient may have the following complications:
- Few restricted activity
- Walking with crunches
- Wearing knee braces for at least one week
A keyhole surgery procedure for restoring a torn meniscus is known as meniscal repair. Sports injuries and Road Traffic Accidents are the most common causes of meniscus problems and surgery. People with torn meniscus choose surgery as the injured cartilage can make the knee unstable and can cause severe pain or swelling.
Symptoms of Torn Meniscus
If the meniscus is torn, it may take up to 24 hours for pain and swelling to develop, especially if the tear is small. The following indications and symptoms may appear in your knee:
- Swelling or stiffness
- Pain in the knee
- Difficulty while stretching your knee
Causes of PCL Reconstruction
- Sports injury
- Road Traffic Accidents
- Straining or pulling the ligament- Such as in a twisting or hyperextension injury
The following are some of the most common signs of a PCL injury:
- Swelling (mild to severe)
- Knee pain
- Trouble walking or bearing weight on the knee
Non-surgical Treatment of PCL injury
If your problem is limited to the posterior cruciate ligament, it may heal without surgery. Your doctor may suggest nonsurgical treatments such as:
A customised brace may be recommended by the doctor to prevent the tibia bone from drooping backward (gravity tends to pull the bone backward when you are lying down). Crutches may be prescribed to prevent you from putting weight on the leg to protect your knee.
The patient can begin a careful rehabilitation regimen once the swelling has reduced. The knee will regain function and the leg muscles that support it will be strengthened through specific workouts.
Surgical Treatment of PCL injury
If the patient has several serious injuries, the doctor may advise for a surgery.
If the knee has dislocated and many ligaments have been ripped, including the posterior cruciate ligament, surgery is required.
Most surgeons use an arthroscope and minor incisions to repair a posterior cruciate ligament. Traditional open surgery is more intrusive than arthroscopic surgery. Less intrusive procedures have the advantage of causing less discomfort during surgery and allowing for a faster recovery time.
The medial collateral ligament (MCL) connects the femur (thigh bone) to the tibia (shin bone) and is located on the interior of the knee joint. This ligament aids in the stabilisation of the knee. It can be injured as a result of a direct hit to the knee. The ligament can be torn on its own or as part of a multi-ligament knee injury. In the majority of cases, an MCL tear can be treated with non-surgical treatment. An MCL surgery may be recommended to restore stability and function to the knee joint in cases where there is a complete tear with instability. The surgeon will repair or reconstruct the injured tendon during MCL surgery. A graft from another part of the body, such as the hamstring or donor tissue can be used by the doctor.
The most common problems related to MCL reconstruction are knee stiffness and residual instability. Other issues that could occur include:
- Blood clots
- Nerve and blood vessel damage
- Loosening of the graft
Multiligament Knee Reconstruction
Multiligament knee surgery or reconstruction is done when there is multi ligament injury concerning the tear of at least two of the four major knee ligament structures: the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), the posterior cruciate ligament (PCL), the posteromedial corner (PMC), and the posterolateral corner (PLC). These injuries are typically high-energy in nature, such as those sustained in motor vehicle accidents or in sports like skiing and football. Multi ligament knee injuries necessitate reconstruction surgery to repair the injured tissues and avoid problems associated with an unstable knee and development of future knee conditions like premature osteoarthritis.
Symptoms of Multiligament Knee Injury
- Limited range of motion
- Injuries to nerve
- Arteries of the leg
- Knee instability
An MRI scan is required to evaluate which ligaments are damaged and how seriously they are torn. It will also show if there are any other problems to the knee, such as meniscus or cartilage tears. The lining of the knee may be damaged and there may be fractures in the knee that were not visible in the original x-rays.
Surgical reconstruction is usually done with an arthroscope and small surgical instruments, through small incisions. A tiny drill will be used by the surgeon to make a hole in the thigh and tibia bone. The grafts are then placed into the hole to replace the injured ligaments. Fixation devices are used to secure the grafts and retain the ligament in place until it heals.
Risks associated with multi-ligament reconstruction:
- Deep vein thrombosis (DVT)
- Nerve damage
- Stiffness of the knee
- Failure of the grafts or the repairs
Risks or Complications of Knee Arthroscopy
Knee arthroscopy complications are uncommon. In rare cases some of the problems may include:
- Blood Clots
- Knee Stiffness
- Tissue or nerve damage
- Small risk of infections
How is Arthroscopy Performed?
- A general anaesthetic will be injected into the patient.
- A small incision will be made and an arthroscope will be put through it.
- Different incisions may be necessary to see other portions of the joint or to implant other equipment.
- At the end of the arthroscope, light is transferred via fibre optics.
- A monitor receives information about the interior of the joint.
- If necessary, corrective surgery might be performed during the initial diagnostic procedure.
- The incisions can be covered with bandages or dressings.
You'll be shifted to a recovery room after the arthroscopy where you'll rest for an hour or more. Post-surgery, you may experience joint pain. Pain medication and exercise may be prescribed by your doctor. When compared to open surgery, arthroscopic surgery usually results in less joint pain and stiffness. In most cases, recovery takes less time.
Best Tools and Technologies for Arthroscopy Knee procedures at Medicover Hospitals
An arthroscope is a tiny tube that is inserted into the body. It has a lens, a small video camera, and light. The camera is linked to a monitoring system that allows a surgeon to observe the surgery in progress. The arthroscope is frequently used in conjunction with other instruments that are inserted through a different cut or incision.
Best arthroscopic surgeons in India
Medicover Hospitals has the best arthroscopic surgeons in India with years of experience in the field. Our doctors treat a wide range of orthopaedic conditions and have a long list of success stories.