Click here to print this page

Planning Retirement Online

Knee arthroscopy

August 2016

Knee problems becoming increasingly common as we age but isn’t it wonderful that today there are so many medical procedures right up to a full knee replacement that can be done to get us moving and active again?

A very common procedure is knee arthroscopy. This is when the surgeons use keyhole surgery to look right inside your knee joint to see what is going on.

An arthroscope is a really thin metal tube that has a camera on the end. Sometimes it will also include small instruments that can be used for various procedures within the knee.

Before an arthroscopy is undergone, you may well be given a general anaesthetic although sometimes it is done under local anaesthesia.

Before the procedure, you will have a compression stocking fitted on your other leg to ensure your blood keeps flowing well and you may be given an anticlotting medicine.

Once ready, the surgeon simply makes a small cut in the skin around your knee and then often rinse the knee with sterile fluid. Then in goes the arthroscope and the surgeon will manipulate it from images being sent from the camera to a computer screen.  The surgeon can really examine the inside of the knee by this system, and if necessary as well as noting any problems or damage, smaller aspects such as damaged tissue or cartilage can be repaired or removed.  The arthroscope can also be used to remove tiny segments of tissue for future analysis of what is going on there.

The images on the screen will be saved so that everything can be explained and discussed in full after the procedure. In some cases lasers can also be used to assist the procedure.

Recovery should be quite straightforward but mobility will depend on what treatment you have had. If it was a simple investigative procedure, recovery will be quicker than if you have had some treatment within the knee and it can take a few weeks before you really feel comfortable again. Immediately after the procedure you will probably be told not to put any weight on that leg and will be given crutches plus advice on pain relief.

One aspect that is not always discussed is washing….you will probably need to keep your knee and the dressings clean and dry which means no baths or showers for a spell unless you can really waterproof that leg.

It is likely you will also be given some exercises to follow to help strengthen your knee and facilitiate movement as your recover.

Knee arthroscopy is a very common and successful procedure these days, but it is important not to get too blasé about it….your knee has received big trauma by having the arthroscope inserted and you will need to accept that while it is keyhole surgery, it will still take a while before you fully recover.

Very very occasionally some patients develop side effects which can range from infection in the joint and developing a blood clot to internal bleeding in the knee and even accidently damage to the nerves in the knee, but that said arthroscopy is considered a safe and successful procedure and for many, getting their knee back into action again can transform their lives.


Here's one website which gives a lot of information about this procedure.


Back to LaterLife Interest Index

Bookmark This Share on Facebook Receive more like this


Latest Articles:

Health food of the month: Gooseberries


Gooseberries have gone so far out of fashion that today some homes haven’t tasted this fabulous traditionally British fruit for years.


AXA Health
Health care at home

carer looking after patient

Receiving health care services at home may be the best option for many older people. This will enable you or your family member to remain in their home and maintain independence, dignity and confidence.


One in 20 may be suffering from fibromyalgia

wasp on a finger

Fibromyalgia syndrome has been estimated to affect up to one in 20 of our entire population. Even worse, while the condition has been medically researched, proven and recognised, the symptoms can be wide and varied so that even sufferers may not realise they have the problem.


Don’t let insect bites spoil your summer

wasp on a finger

Love or hate the heat, the UK is experiencing a hot summer. With a wet spring followed by this warmth, insects are especially prolific. Add to this the fact that many of us are spending more time outside than usual…and the inevitable consequence is more insect bites.


Back to LaterLife Health Section

Visit our Pre-retirement Courses section here on laterlife or our dedicated Retirement Courses site


Advertise on

LaterLife Travel Insurance in Association with Avanti