It’s honestly impossible to know if surgery is necessary for any condition without consulting a doctor first. Depending on the severity of your condition, a knee arthroscopy (KA) may or may not be necessary for treatment. That being said, there are plenty of signs that will tell you if you need to visit a doctor. If you have knee problems that do not improve over time, a doctor may recommend a (KA) to you. Such problems include: pain, swelling, loss of motion, and redness in the knee.
(KA) is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed with general anesthesia and on an outpatient basis. Firstly, the surgeon will pump a salt water solution into the knee in order to stretch it. Then, the performing surgeon makes two or more small incisions near the affected area. One incision allows for the insertion of small surgical tools, and the other allows for camera (arthroscope) insertion.
Using this small camera, the surgeon can then view a livestream of the inside of the knee on a nearby monitor. This aids the surgeon with navigating their tools through the other incision so that they can correct the problem with ease.
(KA) helps diagnose several knee problems, such as a misaligned patella (kneecap) or a torn meniscus. In some cases, a surgeon will use a (KA) to repair knee joint ligaments. Because the procedure is minimally invasive, the outlook is good and with minimal risk. Your prognosis and recovery time will depend on the severity of your condition and the complexity of the procedure.
The knee is the largest and most complex joint in the human body. It is made up of the lower end of the femur (thighbone), the patella (kneecap) and the upper end of the tibia (shinbone). Because there are a lot of moving parts here, a lot of things can go wrong. A doctor will sometimes use a (KA) to address these problems.
The important structures of the knee joint include:
Most commonly, this procedure is used to treat either torn cartilage or a torn meniscus. Meniscal tears are usually the most common indicator, because tears in that area do not have a good blood supply. Because of this, they don’t heal properly and symptoms will persist.
Meniscus tears usually occur in younger people and are commonly caused by a traumatic injury. That being said, older people may have a meniscal tear from something simple such as a quick twist or jerk in the wrong direction. This is because as we get older, tissues age and become degenerative.
A doctor may consider a (KA) for you if you have:
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(KA) is a less invasive surgery method than more traditional open procedures. It is used to both treat and diagnose issues in the joints. Today, (KA) has risen in popularity because it allows for shorter recovery times. Additionally, the procedure typically takes less than 1 hour and complications are uncommon.
(KA) may be useful in diagnosing a variety of problems, such as:
In the majority of these cases, a (KA) is all that is needed. It is often considered instead of other surgical procedures because it usually involves:
Like all surgical procedures, there is a degree of risk involved. There is always a risk of infection and/or excessive bleeding during and after the procedure. On top of that, the use of general anesthesia also comes with risks. This is because anesthesia may cause breathing problems or allergic reactions in some people.
Some (KA) specific risks include:
It is important to note, however, that these risks are very uncommon. Most people recover without experiencing any of these issues.
Your surgeon or doctor will advise you on pre-surgery practices. They will need to know if you take any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements. They may recommend that you stop taking anti-inflammatory medications such as aspirin a few days before the procedure.
It is also important that you do not drink or eat anything for 6-12 hours before surgery. After the (KA) is performed, the doctor may prescribe pain medication to alleviate any pain you may be experiencing. It is important to get this prescription filled ahead of the time so that you have it ready after the (KA).
As mentioned, the surgery is non-invasive and takes less than an hour to perform in most cases. Most people often go home on the same day for recovery. Your doctor may recommend that you use an ice pack on the affected knee for recovery as well as a wound dressing. The ice helps minimize pain and reduces swelling.
While at home, you should have someone look after you for at least the first day. Try to keep your leg elevated and routinely put ice on it for a couple of days. This, again, will greatly reduce pain and swelling. The wound dressing put on the knee will need to be changed regularly. Your doctor will tell you when and how to do these things. Additionally, he or she will also inform you as to how long you need to keep this up. There will likely be a follow-up appointment scheduled a few days after the procedure with your doctor.
Most doctors will give their patients an exercise regimen to follow while at home. Either that, or they will recommend a physical therapy specialist to see you until your knee fully recovers. The exercises will help restore strength to your muscles, as well as the full motion of your knee. If these steps are followed, the outlook for having a (KA) is excellent.
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Your doctor will ask for a medical history to know general aspects of your health. This includes which medicines you currently take, your allergies, and other medical conditions such as hemophilia. Additionally, some people are allergic to general anesthesia, so it is important that your doctor gets an extensive history. (KA) is most commonly used to treat chronic conditions that persist over time after more conservative treatments are exhausted.
If you have a function-inhibiting knee problem that is not getting better with time, contact us today. NJSO is dedicated to delivering minimally invasive surgical procedures that are tailored to suit your specific needs. Our team consists of award-winning, board-certified NJ surgeons and medical staff. Reach out to us today at (855)-586-2615.
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