Knee Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat issues within the knee joint. During the procedure, the surgeon inserts a tiny camera called an arthroscope through a small incision in the skin and into the knee joint. The arthroscope allows the surgeon to see inside the joint and identify problems such as torn cartilage, ligaments, or inflamed synovial tissue.

Once the problem has been identified, the surgeon can use small surgical instruments inserted through another incision to repair or remove damaged tissue. Knee Arthroscopy is commonly used to treat meniscal tears, ACL tears, loose cartilage, and synovitis.

Knee Arthroscopy is typically performed under general or regional anesthesia and is often an outpatient procedure, meaning patients can usually go home the same day. Recovery time after knee arthroscopy varies depending on the extent of the procedure, but many patients can resume normal activities within a few weeks.

Who Needs It

Knee Arthroscopy is typically beneficial for patients with knee pain or discomfort who have not responded to non-surgical treatments such as physical therapy, medication and/or rest. Common conditions that may be treated with knee arthroscopy include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Meniscal Tears: A tear in the cartilage that cushions the knee joint, causing pain and swelling.
  • ACL or PCL Injuries: A tear in the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) causing instability in the knee.
  • Loose Bodies: Small pieces of bone or cartilage that have broken off and are floating in the knee joint, causing pain and inflammation.
  • Synovitis: Inflammation of the lining of the knee joint, causing pain and swelling.
  • Patellar (kneecap) Conditions: Issues such as patellar instability or patellar maltracking, causing pain and instability.

 It is important to note that knee arthroscopy may not be appropriate for all cases of knee pain, and a thorough evaluation by your physician is needed to determine the best course of treatment. Patients with severe arthritis or other advanced joint diseases may not be good candidates for this procedure.

How Does It Work

During a Knee Arthroscopy, the orthopaedic surgeon makes small incisions around the knee joint to insert a small camera called an arthroscope and other surgical instruments. The arthroscope is connected to a monitor that displays the inside of the knee joint in real time, allowing the surgeon to see the structures of the knee joint and identify any problems. Other small instruments are then deployed to treat the condition as needed. For example, the surgeon may use a surgical tool to remove the damaged portion of a torn meniscus.

Additional incisions may sometimes be required to perform the necessary repairs. Once the repair is complete, the incisions are closed with sutures or staples, and the knee is covered with a bandage or dressing. After the procedure, the patient is taken to a recovery area for monitoring and observation until the effects of anesthesia wear off.


Recovery from Knee Arthroscopy can vary depending on the extent of the procedure and the patient’s health and fitness. However, recovery from the procedure is generally quicker and less painful than traditional open knee surgery. After a Knee Arthroscopy, the knee will be wrapped in a compression bandage, and ice may be applied to help control swelling and pain. Pain medication may also be prescribed to manage pain in the early stages of recovery.

Patients are typically advised to keep weight off the affected leg and use crutches for the first few days after the surgery. Most patients can resume normal daily activities within a few days to a week, but more strenuous activities such as sports or heavy lifting should be avoided for several weeks.

Physical therapy may also be recommended to help restore the knee's range of motion, strength and function. The length of physical therapy will vary depending on the extent of the procedure and the individual patient's needs. However, it is crucial to follow the surgeon's post-operative instructions and attend all follow-up appointments to ensure a safe and successful recovery.