Knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) involves making two small incisions less than a centimetre each at the front of the knee. A fibre optic camera and specialised instruments are then able to be inserted into the knee to visualise and address the problem.
Knee arthroscopy is performed to address meniscal tears, remove free floating pieces of bone or cartilage or trim the inflammed lining of the knee (synovitis). It is one of the most commonly performed orthopaedic procedures in Australia. However there are limitations. It is increasingly accepted that if the problem is early arthritis (wearing out) of the knee then performing an arthroscopic “clean up” is unlikely to be of help.
The surgery is performed as a day procedure and patients can usually walk on the leg immediately with the help of crutches. Bandages remain in-situ for 3-5 days and the swelling settles over 1-2 weeks.