Knee Arthroscopy

Keyhole surgery

Arthroscopy is the technical term for surgery carried out to look inside a joint through small incisions.  It involves placing a telescope with a light source into the knee through incisions either side of the kneecap.  This allows the surgeon to look around the inside of the knee joint and treat the cause of pain and discomfort within the knee.

The surgery is normally carried out with a general anesthetic as commonly the surgery lasts less than 30 mins.As the incisions are small and the surgery time short, the recovery is quick so patients normally go home on the day of surgery (daycase operation).You will require approximately 1-2 weeks off work but this depends on the nature of your work and the type of surgery carried out.  

Although the surgery is considered relatively minor you will still need to rest and elevate the leg in the early post-operative period, treating the knee with regular ice and taking pain killers as required.  This will allow you to undertake the simple rehabilitation exercises that will have been given to you by the physiotherapist who reviewed you on your admission.

Following discharge the likely course of events is that your stitches will be removed by your practice nurse after 8-10 days, you may require additional physio sessions, and your surgeon will review you to monitor your progress after 4-6 weeks.  

Factors to Consider

What are the risks of surgery?

The risks of arthroscopic surgery are small as the surgery is relatively quick and you will be walking within a few hours of the operation. 

However the risks include: -

  • Infection
  • Bleeding and bruising
  • Blood clots in the leg (Deep Vein Thrombosis - DVT) or the lung (Pulmonary Embolus -PE)
  • Ongoing knee symptoms (swelling, discomfort)
  • Recurrence of symptoms after initial resolution
  • Numbness around the front of the knee or around the scars


Important: this information given above is only a guideline as is not complete.  For more information or to book an appointment please contact us.