Knee arthroscopy is surgery that uses a tiny camera to look inside your knee. Small cuts are made to insert the camera and small surgical tools into your knee for the procedure.

Three different types of pain relief (anesthesia) may be used for knee arthroscopy surgery:

  • Local anesthesia. Your knee may be numbed with pain medicine. You may also be given medicines that relax you. You will stay awake.
  • Spinal anesthesia. This is also called regional anesthesia. The pain medicine is injected into a space in your spine. You will be awake but will not be able to feel anything below your waist.
  • General anesthesia. You will be asleep and pain-free.
  • Femoral nerve block. This is another type of regional anesthesia. The pain medicine is injected around the nerve in your groin. You will be asleep during the operation. This type of anesthesia will block out pain so that you need less general anesthesia.

A cuff-like device may be put around your thigh to help control bleeding during the procedure.

The surgeon will make two or three small cuts around your knee. Salt water (saline) will be pumped into your knee to stretch the knee.

A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be inserted through one of the cuts. The camera is attached to a video monitor that lets the surgeon see inside the knee.

The surgeon may put other small surgery tools inside your knee through the other cuts. The surgeon will then fix or remove the problem in your knee.

At the end of your surgery, the saline will be drained from your knee. The surgeon will close your cuts with sutures (stitches) and cover them with a dressing. Many surgeons take pictures of the procedure from the video monitor, You may be able to view these pictures after the operation so that you can see what was done.

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Knee Ligament Surgery

If you tear the anterior cruciate ligament in your knee, you may need to have reconstructive surgery.

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a tough band of tissue joining the thigh bone to the shin bone at the knee joint. It runs diagonally through the inside of the knee and gives the knee joint stability. It also helps control the back-and-forth movement of the lower leg.

Ligaments are bands of tough, elastic connective tissue that surround a joint to give support and limit the joint’s movement. When ligaments are damaged, the knee joint may become unstable. The ligament damage often occurs from a sports injury. A torn ligament severely limits knee movement, resulting in a person’s inability to pivot, turn, or twist their leg. Those individuals who cannot return to normal activities with medical treatments for a torn ligament may have the ligament repaired or reconstructed (replacing the ligament) with surgery.