A knee arthroscopy is a procedure that is used to diagnose and treat problems in the knee joint. During an arthroscopy your surgeon will make a very small incision and insert a tiny camera (arthroscope). The camera allows your surgeon to investigate the problem on a monitor in the operating room. After investigating the problem your surgeon can use small instruments within the arthroscope to treat the problem.
An arthroscopic surgery can help diagnose and treat the following problems:
- Torn anterior or posterior cruciate ligaments
- Torn meniscus
- A patella that is out of position
- Torn cartilage in the joint
- Fractures in the knee
- Swollen synovium (lining in the joint)
ACL reconstruction (using a knee arthroscopy)
Reconstruction of the ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and repair of a torn meniscus are the most commonly performed arthroscopic surgeries. The ACL is a major ligament in the knee. Most ACL injuries happen in sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction, like soccer, basketball, football and gymnastics.
During an ACL reconstruction, the torn ligament is removed and replaced with a piece of tendon from another part of your knee. This is done as an outpatient procedure. There are limited risks to the procedure and the outlook is good for most patients. Your recovery time and prognosis will depend on the severity of the knee problem and the complexity of the required procedure