The knee is composed of three bones; the femur (lower end of
the thigh bone), the tibia (the upper end of the shin bone), and
the patella (knee cap). Tissues, ligaments, and muscles help to
connect these structures and also provide stability. However, if
any of these elements is stressed, torn, or otherwise injured, the
functionality of the knee as a whole suffers.
Patients can experience a range of symptoms, including swelling,
chronic pain, loss of stability, or the knee suddenly giving
out. Injuries may need to be surgically repaired if a traumatic
event caused a tear and symptoms fail to improve after trying
conservative treatment measures. If you experience any of these
symptoms, you may be a candidate for knee arthroscopy.
Today, surgeons are turning to arthroscopic surgery to repair
knee ailments. An arthroscope is a small, soft tube with a light
and lenses on the tip. Surgeries completed arthroscopically are
done through small openings with the scope connected to a video
monitor to view the inside of the knee.
This new optical and digital technology has enabled knee
arthroscopy to serve as an important diagnostic and therapeutic
tool for patients requiring surgery. “Employing the use of a small
circular lens through three or fewer small incisions, creates
accessibility and perspectives that we haven’t had before,”
explains SJMO Orthopedic Surgeon, Andrew Ciarlone, MD.
“The clarity of the picture also allows us to determine what type
of reconstructive surgery, if any, is necessary.”
Additionally, knee arthroscopy is helpful for diagnosing and treating
a multitude of knee ailments including:
• Torn meniscal cartilage
• Torn ligaments
• Loose fragments of bone or cartilage
• Damaged joint surfaces
• Diagnosing rheumatoid arthritis
Choosing to utilize knee arthroscopy in operative situations has
several advantages. Arthroscopic evaluation and treatment only
requires several small incisions, thus limiting the degree of scarring
and trauma associated with surgery. It also inspects the joint
environment much more precisely, enabling an accurate removal of
damaged or scarred joint tissue. Additionally, knee arthroscopy has
also reduced post-operative pain and healing times in comparison to
traditional open joint techniques. Knee arthroscopy is also typically
conducted in an out-patient setting.
There are risks associated with any surgery. In rare circumstances
this procedure may cause bleeding, infection, or injury to another
part of the knee. There is also the chance that a problem in a vein
could cause a blood clot to form.
To find an SJMO orthopedic surgeon near you, please call the
physician referral line at 1.800.372.6094.