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Knee arthroscopy

A technique which describes minimally invasive access to the knee to treat a variety of conditions such as meniscal tear and damage to the articular cartilage.

Knee arthroscopy is a type of keyhole surgery which involves inserting an arthroscope (small camera) into the knee joint.

Speak to the specialists at Sulis Hospital Knee Surgery Unit

If you are experiencing pain, swelling, stiffness or a locking sensation in the knee, book a consultation with a knee specialist.

Access to diagnostics
Sulis Hospital Knee Surgery Unit provides timely access to MRI, X-Ray and ultrasound scans, which enables you to move forward faster. If we need to take a closer look, your consultant may recommend knee arthroscopy.

World-class surgeons

You can rest assured that you’re in safe hands. Our internationally recognised surgeons are fully focussed on diagnosing and treating the cause of knee pain. It’s their aim to get you back on your feet as quickly and as safely as possible.

Enhanced recovery

Keyhole surgery is designed to be a minimally invasive procedure, but it can still take several weeks or months to recover. Our expert physiotherapists will guide you through exercises you can do to help strengthen and protect the knee joint during this time.

Your knee arthroscopy questions answered

Knee arthroscopy is a keyhole technique, which means it involves smaller incisions and is less invasive. During surgery, a small camera is inserted into the knee to give the surgeon a better look at what’s causing pain or stiffness in the joint.

Your surgeon could also take biopsies, remove damaged tissue or even repair ligaments during the procedure.

If you are experiencing ongoing pain, swelling, or reduced mobility in the knee, arthroscopy could be used to treat the issue. Arthroscopy may be recommended if you have experienced a knee injury (or suspected tear) or if you’ve been in pain for a long time.

• A suspected tear: Arthroscopy can be used to diagnose a tear if you are still experiencing pain a few months after a twisting injury.

• A mechanical issue: Your consultant may also use arthroscopy to diagnose a suspected mechanical issue if the knee is clicking, locking, or giving way.

• Wear and tear: If you haven’t experienced an injury, wear and tear to the cartilage in the knee may be the cause of your pain. Arthroscopy might be a treatment option if non-surgical interventions haven’t worked or to remove dislodged fragments of cartilage.

Your consultant will ask you about the pain you are experiencing to obtain a deeper understanding of where the issue might be. Your knee will be examined and mobilised so that the consultant can see the range of motion, or where the joint is stiff or clicking.

Knee arthroscopy might be recommended as a procedure to treat the issue. You may also be referred for an X-Ray, MRI, ultrasound or blood test to further support a diagnosis.

Most patients will be asked not to drink or eat anything ahead of their surgery. You might also be asked to stop smoking or refrain from taking certain medications.

There may be preparations you need to make at home. For example, you will need to consider how you are planning to get home after surgery, as you won’t be able to drive.

We will make sure you’re fully informed, prepared and relaxed ahead of surgery. Nothing goes ahead until you are completely comfortable.

Most patients receive a general anaesthetic, but you may be able to have a local anaesthetic or spinal anaesthetic. Your surgeon will discuss these options with you.

During the procedure, the surgeon will make a small incision (approximately 2-3mm). They will then insert a camera, which enables them to view your knee on a screen. Specialist instruments will then be used to remove damaged tissue or bone debris.

Knee arthroscopy typically takes up to 1.5 hours, after which you will return to your private room to recover.

It usually takes a few hours for patients to wake up fully, but most patients can go home either on the same day or the day after surgery.

You won’t be able to drive after receiving an anaesthetic or until you’ve recovered from surgery, so you will need to arrange for someone to help you.

You may be given anti-clotting medication and compression hosiery to wear to help prevent deep vein thrombosis. You will also be shown how to reduce swelling in the joint, by elevating it or using ice packs, and when to remove or change your dressings.

As with any surgery, there can be risks and complications, including those associated with general anaesthetic.

For knee arthroscopy, complications can include infection, deep vein thrombosis (DVT), bleeding, swelling, complex regional pain syndrome and nerve damage at the insertion site. Your consultant will discuss all these risks with you ahead of the procedure.

There is also the risk that you will still feel pain or stiffness after surgery. Surgery cannot cure conditions such as arthritis, so you may find you experience symptoms again in the future.

You may be covered by private medical insurance or wish to consider spreading the cost of your surgery by opting for a monthly payment plan.

We aim to make our costs as transparent as possible, but it’s important to talk everything through in detail with your consultant at the time of your appointment. Some costs may be paid directly to the hospital, while others, such as your consultant fees, may be paid directly to the consultant.

Choose Sulis Hospital for your knee surgery

Sulis Hospital Knee Surgery Unit specialises in the diagnosis and treatment of knee pain. This means you benefit from world-class surgeons, state-of-the-art operating theatres and a team of specialist nurses and physiotherapists.

Knee pain can be so disruptive to daily life, so it’s understandable that you’d want to be seen as quickly as possible. We’re dedicated to shortening wait times so that you can get back on your feet as quickly as it is safe to do so.

Treatment Overview

Combining a calming hospital environment with outstanding patient care so you can recover as quickly as possible.

  • Typical hospital stay Daycase

  • Covered by health insurance? Yes

  • Can I pay privately? Yes

You’re in safe hands at Sulis Hospital.

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