Knee Arthroscopy Surgery

I know from personal experience just how debilitating knee pain can be. As the largest joint in the body, the knee can have big impact on our quality of life when it is not working properly.

Depending on the extent and severity of any knee pain, we may find our ability to participate in sports or to carry out our everyday activities is altered. When the knee pain is present even when we’re resting or sleeping, it can be incredibly frustrating and disheartening.

As a doctor who specialises exclusively in problems of the knee, I know how important an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment are. One of the approaches I use to help with this is a knee arthroscopy. This allows me to assess the exact cause of your knee pain. In many cases I will also be able to treat the problem at the same time, meaning you will be out of pain and back to better function and mobility as soon as possible. 

There are many reasons we may get knee pain, ranging from arthritis in the joint through to traumatic injury. Some of the causes of knee pain I commonly see include torn ligaments, torn cartilage or swollen joints

While many people will experience knee pain or stiffness at some stage (often as a result of increased activity, such as a long walk), I always tell people that severe or long-term knee pain should not be ignored. If you are at all concerned about knee pain, it is always worth coming to see me for a consultation to have things properly checked out.

When I see you, we will talk about your knee pain and I will carry out a thorough examination of your knee. As well as having access to diagnostic imaging such as ultrasound or MRI scans, a knee arthroscopy can be a really good way of find out what is wrong in your knee.

Knee arthroscopy surgery is also known as 'keyhole surgery'. Unlike traditional “open” surgery where larger cuts are made, keyhole surgery involves making several small cuts into your knee and then using a special camera called an arthroscope to look inside the knee joint. Arthroscopy is used to address and fix specific problems in the knee once diagnosed by MRI scan.  Arthroscopy is very rarely used to make a diagnosis.

Knee arthroscopy usually takes about 20 minutes and is carried out under general anaesthetic, meaning you will be asleep. It is a day case procedure and you will usually be able to go home later the same day.

During the operation I will make two small cuts in the skin around your knee. One is to enable me to put a sterile fluid into the joint, making it easier to for me to operate. The second is for the arthroscope.

An arthroscope is a very small, flexible tube with a tiny camera and light on the end. It is linked to a monitor in the room, allowing me to clearly see inside your knee and find out what has been causing your pain. If I see that treatment is required, I can work to fix any problems using extremely precise surgical instruments inserted through the arthroscope. The sort of problems I regularly address and fix are torn menisci or ‘shock absorbers’, damage to articular cartilage and removal of loose bodies.

Compared to traditional surgery, knee arthroscopy is a relatively non-invasive procedure. You may need to take some time off work and to stop driving for a week or so, to allow your knee to rest and recover. I may also ask you to carry out some specialised physiotherapy exercises to help strengthen the knee.

If you are struggling with pain or stiffness in your knee, getting help from an expert can be invaluable. With good treatment options available, you do not need to suffer in pain long-term.

I have suffered knee pain myself and I know from first-hand experience just how much of a difference being pain-free can make to the quality of life.

While I am always keen to explore alternative options to surgery, knee arthroscopy surgery can be a good way of diagnosing the cause of any knee problems and then treating the causes at the same time.

We now have the ability to repair damaged menisci rather than taking them out.  I can also replace menisci that have been partly removed with a meniscal scaffold or, if completely removed, with an allograft meniscus – in other words, a meniscus from a human donor.

We also now have techniques to regrow cartilage where the surface of the knee has been damaged.

I have decades of experience helping people with their knee problems and regularly treat professional sportspeople and Olympic athletes. If you have a problem with your knee, I would be delighted to meet with you to assess what is causing the problem and then to talk with you about your treatment options. It’s easy to book an appointment with me; just call my private secretary Mandy on  01761 422 256 or send an email to neil.knee@circlebath.co.uk

 

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020 3613 6779

Circle Bath Hospital, Foxcote Avenue, Peasedown St John, Bath BA2 8SQ

Good

Overall rating 24th April 2017