Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery in Bethesda & Arlington

The knee is an important joint in your body. It helps you move, run, squat and maintain your balance and stability. If you have pain or a condition that doesn’t allow you to use your knee as you should, contact us to meet one of our highly skilled orthopedic doctors. We’ll examine you and see if you can use conservative treatment methods to relieve your pain.

If medication and therapy don’t provide the desired relief, the team of orthopedic surgeons at OrthoBethesda in Bethesda, MD, and Arlington, VA, may recommend an effective surgical procedure called knee arthroscopy surgery.


What Is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that enables an orthopedic surgeon to operate on your knee without making large cuts or opening the entire space up. Knee arthroscopy is a way for your surgeon to see into your knee. Years ago large incisions would have to be made to diagnose and treat problems of the knee. The arthroscope is a small instrument about the size of a pencil that has a light source attached to it and a camera at the end. The video taken from the camera is projected onto a screen allowing us to see nearly all corners of your knee.

During knee arthroscopy, many small incisions are created in the knee instead of one large one. Each small incision allows the surgeon to use a tiny tube with a camera to see the different parts of the knee joint clearly. This tool allows the surgeon to see an enlarged view of the joint and repair the injury with precision. The arthroscope is inserted into one and instruments may be inserted through the other(s). An unstable tear of the meniscus may be trimmed back to a stable rim removing tissue using instruments called biters or shavers. In some situations we may perform a repair of the meniscus through the small portals and in other cases we may make accessory incisions to protect the nerves and blood vessels in the back of the knee. Unstable flaps of surface cartilage may be removed to prevent them from causing ongoing irritation. Floating pieces of cartilage called loose bodies may be retrieved to prevent swelling and mechanical symptoms such as locking or catching.

When Is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Recommended?

Knee arthroscopy may be used to diagnose or treat various knee conditions. Some of the key reasons for performing it include:

  • Removal of infected joint lining
  • Removal of bone fragments in the knee joint
  • Treatment of mild rheumatoid arthritis
  • Repair of different sports injuries
  • Repair of a damaged kneecap
  • Reconstruction of a ligament after a tear

Knee arthroscopy is a suitable treatment choice for many sports injuries, and it offers a variety of benefits.

Benefits of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Knee arthroscopy has different advantages over traditional surgical procedures because it’s minimally invasive. Some of the benefits include:

  • Less damage to ligaments, muscles and other soft tissues
  • Minimal bleeding
  • Incisions that leave very small scars
  • Lower risk of infection
  • Reduced post-operative pain
  • Shorter time for recovery
  • Less painful rehabilitation during physical therapy
  • Quicker mobilization after the operation

Recovery After Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic knee surgery isn’t as tedious and extensive as other traditional knee operations, which means you’ll be able to get back to your normal activities quickly after the operation. Knee arthroscopy is typically an outpatient procedure. While mobility will be limited for the first few days, you’ll be able to go back home on the same day.  In some cases, you will be allowed to walk without crutches and other times you may be asked to only put a little weight on your leg while using crutches. Sometimes a brace may be required for support. Typically the dressings are removed after a few days and you are allowed to shower. The recovery goals in the first few days after surgery is to diminish the swelling, work on regaining normal range of motion, and walking without a limp.

It seems that recovery should be fast because all you can see are small incisions on the outside. However, the healing process will take weeks or even months. Your physician and possibly a physical therapist should safely guide you through a return to activity program.

After the surgery, you’ll need ice, pain relief medication and pain management for the next few days. However, you’ll be able to go back to work after a week, and you can begin your physical therapy as soon as mobility is restored. If you’re involved in sports and other strenuous activities, you may need one to six months depending on the extent of the repair performed during the surgery.

Further Reading

What to Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Robotic vs. Traditional Knee Replacement Surgery


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Where Can I Find Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Near Me in Bethesda, MD?

If you’re experiencing pain in your knee joint, you need to consult a highly skilled orthopedic surgeon who’s a specialist in taking care of the knee. At OrthoBethesda, we have a team of surgeons who can examine your knee, provide a thorough diagnosis and recommend the most effective treatment plan. If knee arthroscopy is recommended, our surgeons can complete it at our clinic in Bethesda, MD, or Arlington, VA.