Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is an internal examination of a joint; hence knee arthroscopy is an examination of the knee joint. An arthroscope is used to see inside the joint, and this is a specialised form of telescope with its own light source.

The knee arthroscopy procedure is done through two small incisions, commonly known as keyholes or portals. The number of incisions may vary, but commonly two are necessary as an absolute minimum. The arthroscope is inserted through one keyhole, and through the other keyhole the instruments used to perform the surgery are inserted. The arthroscope is connected through a cable to a TV monitor so that the Dr. Hasn has a magnified view of the inside of the knee joint while working. The arthroscope permits viewing of the important structures of the knee joint, such as the articular cartilage, the meniscal cartilages and the cruciate ligaments. These are the most common structures that suffer damage, causing pain and instability of the knee. Working through the instrument keyhole, specialised surgical tools are used to correct the damage to the structures of the knee.

An arthroscopy requires a day visit to hospital. The surgery is performed under general anaesthesia. Following return to the ward, patients will be able to get up initially with assistance, but will then be able to walk out of hospital, usually without the need for any walking aids, such as a stick or crutches. Patients are advised not to drive themselves home on the same day as surgery, and preferably not for 24 hours.

Patients are given a sheet of exercises to commence either the day of or the day following surgery, and will also be given instructions on how to manage the bandages and dressings on their knee. People who work on a computer doing desk duties will have a fairly rapid return to work. However those who spend a lot of time crouching and kneeling in their work will require 6-8 weeks before being able to return to full duties.

Patients will see Dr. Hasn again generally about a week after surgery, when the results of the procedure and the photographs of the knee that were taken during the operation will be discussed and returned for patients to keep. Surgical wounds will be checked, and further plans for rehabilitation of the knee and a proposed schedule for returning to work or sporting activities will be discussed.