If your doctor has told you that you should have knee arthroscopy, you may be feeling a little anxious or a little worried. It is okay to feel that way since sending a camera into your knee seems like it would be really uncomfortable. However, the procedure is not nearly as invasive, painful, or terrifying as opening up the knee completely to make repairs to the joint and connective tissues. Here is a closer look at the entire process to alleviate your concerns.
Your Knee Is Numbed Entirely
It is not necessary to knock you out entirely under general anesthesia for this procedure. In fact, most doctors refrain from doing so since they can just numb your knee entirely or give you an epidural/saddle block anesthetic to numb the lower half of your body. Whichever occurs, you will not feel a thing when the orthopedic surgeon begins the procedure. If you are awake for the procedure (which you probably will be), the surgeon uses an operating drape that blocks the view of the work he/she is doing so that you do not become fearful, filled with anxiety, or flinch when he/she performs the keyhole incision.
A Keyhole Incision Is Made in the Side of Your Knee
When they say, "keyhole," they mean a tiny incision less than a half-inch long. This incision is large enough for the tiny scope and surgical instruments to pass through. You can even watch the surgery on the monitors used to project the live video feed from the scope, if you want to. This is how the surgeon is able to see inside your knee and control the tiny instruments that will repair the menisci and other torn ligaments, or remove small parts of the knee cap and replace them with osteo-orthopedic implants. When the entire intended procedure is complete, and sutures in the muscles and tendons are done, you only need a tiny bandage to seal the keyhole incision.
Sealing the Incision and Dealing With Pain
Most people only need a tiny butterfly bandage to seal the incision for this procedure. Stitches are rarely necessary, since only one stitch would be required. Your knee may initially be wrapped after surgery to help control any bleeding, but within a day or two, you would not need this at all. Your doctor may prescribe some pain medication, but most patients find that they really do not need it. After about a week or two, or when your doctor gives you clearance, you may start physical therapy to work your way up to full mobility with your knee again.
For more information, contact a medical office that offers knee arthroscopy procedures.