Keyhole Knee Surgery Arthroscopy

What is keyhole knee surgery?

Keyhole knee surgery uses 2 small incisions to allow the surgeon to place a telescope and a micro-instrument inside the knee joint. The telescope (arthroscope) allows the surgeon to diagnose and treat the following:

  • Torn meniscal cartilage
  • Damaged joint surface cartilage
  • Torn anterior cruciate ligament
  • Loose bodies

As with all types of keyhole surgery there is less pain, faster recovery and less risk of infection when compared with open surgery.

Who is suitable?

Your Orthopaedic surgeon will assess whether your knee will benefit from keyhole surgery. He is likely to use plain X-rays and an MRI scan to help with this assessment. The conditions listed above are the most common reasons to recommend keyhole surgery.

At arthroscopy, loose and damaged pieces of joint can be removed, and if the main symptom is acute sharp pains with catching and locking, then an arthroscopy may well provide lasting relief.


Overall, keyhole knee surgery is very safe and has one of the highest satisfaction rates of any surgical procedure.

What to expect afterwards

You will need to rest for a few hours until the effects of the anaesthetic have passed. The nurses and physiotherapists will help get you out of bed and start getting you walking, sometimes with the aid of crutches. In virtually all cases you will be allowed to place full weight the operated knee.

  • You may need pain relief to help with any discomfort as the anaesthetic wears off.
  • You can home as soon as you feel ready.
  • You should try to have a friend or relative stay with you for the first 24 hours.
  • Your nurse will give you some advice about caring for your healing wounds before you go home.
  • You will need to see your surgeon after the operation, anytime between 2 and 6 weeks.

Recovering from knee arthroscopy

  • It is normal for your knee joint to feel sore and swollen for at least a week.
  • You shouldn’t drive until you’re confident that you could perform an emergency stop without discomfort.
  • You should be able to resume your usual activities after three to eight weeks depending on the severity of your knee problems and your level of fitness.


Is my condition bad enough for an operation?

We measure how bad things are in a number of ways:

Firstly, how much pain are you in? Is it steadily getting worse?

Secondly how much trouble do you get in everyday life and doing the things you enjoy?

Before your operation your condition will be analyzed using a variety of functional scores. These will help us put your problems in perspective. They also give a helpful comparison for your progress following surgery.


Dr. Ranjith Narayan

Specialist in Orthopaedics

Aster Hospital,  Mankhool


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