Knee Arthroscopy

    Knee arthroscopy (keyhole surgery) is a commonly performed day case procedure.

Before the operation

    Prior to your first outpatient consultation you will be sent a health check questionnaire which you should complete and bring with you. If it is recommended that you have a knee arthroscopy you will be asked to give this form to nursing staff in clinic. You will also have swabs samples taken from your ear and nose to check whether you are a MRSA carrier.

The operation

    You will be admitted on the morning of surgery having fully starved (nothing to eat or drink) from midnight the night before. You will be seen by the consultant anaesthetist and then by myself to complete a consent form and mark your leg (the consent form confirms the operation we are doing and the correct side; it also lists the principal, but very uncommon risks that you should already be aware of: -

  1. Infection

  2. Tenderness around the keyhole cuts (arthroscopy portals)

    The anaesthetic will usually take the form of a brief general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes approximately 20-30 minutes. Two or more keyhole cuts are made to allow insertion of the camera and instruments and these are closed at the end of the operation with steristrips. Long acting local anaesthetic is injected into the knee and a wool and crepe bandage applied.

After the operation

    Mobilisation under the supervision of a physiotherapist will begins a few hours after the operation. You can start full weight bearing straight away and you should not need crutches. You will be able to leave hospital once the physiotherapist and nursing staff are satisfied you are ready.

    The bandage can be removed after 48 hours and replaced with small dressings. You should avoid getting the cuts wet for about 1 week.

    Allow 48 hours before starting to drive and up to 1 week off work. You will have an outpatient appointment to see me six weeks after the operation. (However, if there are any concerns regarding possible wound infection or any other problem you should contact myself or the ward staff).

    The surgery itself can produce symptoms for as long as 6 to 12 weeks afterwards with tenderness around the cuts and a feeling of tightness when bending the knee being the most common.