What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopic surgery or "key-hole" surgery allows the surgeon to look inside the joint and perform procedures using special tiny instruments. This usually requires a stay of 24 hours or less in hospital. Meniscal and ligament tears are treated using arthroscopy as also certain cartilage regeneration procedures. Arthroscopy and washout of the joint is not helpful in knees with complete loss of cartilage.
View of the knee at Arthroscopy
Meniscal tears: Result from injury, when one excessively bends the knee as in squatting, or due to twisting. Apart from acute pain and swelling, there may be pain in certain positions, difficulty in walking, and there may be 'locking' of the knee.
Ligament tears: Sports injuries, falls or accidents may cause ligaments to tear causing instability and 'giving way'. The anterior cruciate (ACL) and medial collateral ligaments (MCL) are commonly damaged.
Generally, ligament and meniscal tears may require Arthroscopic surgery, and cartilage damage may require Unicompartmental Knee Resurfacing or Replacement.