An arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed on the joint using an arthroscope. Arthroscopy for the knee is most commonly used for removal or repair of torn meniscal cartilage, reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament, removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage, removal of inflamed synovial tissue, and trimming of torn pieces of articular cartilage.
During arthroscopy, the arthroscope is inserted in the knee through the small incisions in the skin. The arthroscope has a light source and a video camera attached to it. Images from the camera can be seen on a video monitor. Light is transmitted through fiber optics to the end of the arthroscope and it provides a magnified image of the knee. A sterile solution is then used to fill the knee joint and rinse away any cloudy fluids. This helps the orthopedic surgeon see the knee clearly and in great detail.
This procedure is done under General, local or spinal anesthetic. It does not require hospitalization and the operation lasts for approximately an hour. The incisions are stitched and covered with a soft bandage.