What is arthroscopic knee surgery?

Many knee injuries can be treated with arthroscopy, a minimally invasive procedure performed by inserting a small telescope through a tiny pinhole and operating on the joint with micro-instruments through another pinhole. Since the surgeon doesn't need to make large incisions, the procedure inflicts minimal trauma on the surrounding tissues, which leads to a quicker recovery time and lower risk of complications.

What causes knee pain?

Many orthopedic injuries can cause knee pain, from a torn meniscus to a misaligned kneecap. Degenerative disorders such as arthritis, chondromalacia, and synovitis are also common causes.

Most knee conditions, including strains, bursitis, partial tears, and patellofemoral syndrome can be treated without surgery and managed conservatively. However, some orthopedic conditions — such as a torn meniscus, an ACL tear, or a misaligned kneecap – may require knee arthroscopy. Our orthopedic specialists will take care to properly diagnose your condition and determine the best treatment plan for your specific needs.

Who needs arthroscopic knee surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a particularly effective treatment for injuries to the ligaments or cartilage within the knee joint. As a result, patients with ACL tears, meniscal tears, loose bodies or fragments, cartilage lining damage in the joint (osteochondral defects), or nearly any type of intra-articular damage are all ideal candidates for the procedure.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Arthroscopic knee surgery begins with two small — generally no longer than one-fourth of an inch — pinhole incisions into the skin in front of the knee. The surgeon will then insert a thin telescope into one of the incisions to better view the damaged knee, and operate on the knee through the other incisions with small surgical instruments. After the damage is found and repaired, the incisions are promptly closed with absorbable sutures and dressed as needed.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Recovery & Recovery Time


As a minimally invasive procedure, arthroscopy is designed to simplify and shorten the recovery period. You will need to rest, ice, compress, and elevate the knee for several days after surgery to reduce pain and swelling, but most patients can walk out the same day without restrictions and can begin physical therapy immediately.

Recovery Time

Most patients recover quickly from arthroscopic knee surgery, but the exact recovery timeline will vary. You can expect to completely resume normal activities within a week or two of the procedure, while more complex procedures will require a longer healing period. In addition, athletes will likely require another several weeks of recovery time before returning to peak condition.


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