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Knee arthroscopy: What it is and how it can help protect your knees

Orthopaedic Surgeon Professor Piers Yates explains what knee arthroscopic surgery is and how it is used in the diagnosis and treatment of minor knee injuries.

What is a knee arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy gives your surgeon a chance to view inside your knee joint and carry out surgery on damaged cartilage, ligaments and menisci.

During the procedure, your surgeon usually makes two small incisions in the front of your knee. A tiny camera can be passed through these incisions to give your surgeon an inside look at what is going on, which will enable them to perform “keyhole” surgery or form a plan for future treatment.

St John of God Health Care what is knee surgery

What happens after a knee arthroscopy?

In general, knee arthroscopies are done as day surgery, which means you can go home the same day as your procedure.

As you will be given a general anaesthetic, you will be required to remain at the hospital for up to four hours after the procedure, and will need someone to drive you home.

As this is usually minor surgery, the effects are generally minimal. You may experience some swelling and soreness around the incision site after surgery. This is normal and should subside within a few days.

Keeping your knee elevated and applying an ice pack can help manage swelling.

Speak to your doctor to discuss pain management or if you have any questions about your surgery.

About the author

Prof Piers Yates is an orthopaedic surgeon at St John of God Murdoch Hospital. He has been practicing in WA as a specialist orthopaedic and trauma surgeon from 2006 with a particular interest in joint replacement and trauma.