If you are living with pain in your knee, your consultant may recommend a knee arthroscopy to investigate or treat issues within the joint. 

What is a knee arthroscopy?

An arthroscopy (also known as keyhole knee surgery) allows your surgeon to see inside your knee by using a thin tube with a camera that is inserted through small incisions in your skin, without the need to fully open the joint.

The consultant should also be able to treat some problems using surgical instruments during the same procedure, such as repairing or removing torn tissue and treating arthritic conditions.

What does a knee arthroscopy involve?

The operation is usually performed under a general anaesthetic. The operation usually takes about 30 to 45 minutes.

Your surgeon will usually make about two to four small incisions around the knee joint. They will place a thin telescope (camera) through one of the incisions so they can examine the joint in detail and place surgical instruments through others if they need to treat any problems with the joint.

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How soon will I recover?

You should be able to go home the same day. Walking can be uncomfortable and you may need to take painkillers to help relieve your pain. It is also common for your knee to be a little swollen for a few weeks.

Regular exercise should help you to return to normal activities as soon as possible, please ask the healthcare team or your GP for advice before you start exercising.

Are there any alternatives to a knee arthroscopy?

  • Problems inside a joint can often be diagnosed using tests such as CT and MRI scans. However, you may then need an arthroscopy to treat the problem.
  • Physiotherapy and anti-inflammatory painkillers such as ibuprofen can sometimes prevent or delay the need for an arthroscopy.

What complications can happen?

As with any procedure, there can be risks associated with surgical procedures and general anaesthetic. General side effects such as pain, bleeding or difficulty passing urine are most often temporary and should ease over time. However, should any unexpected or longer term side effects arise, please do not hesitate to contact the Horder Healthcare team to help correct them.

General complications

  • Pain
  • Bleeding
  • Infection of the surgical site (wound)
  • Scarring
  • Blood clots
  • Difficulty passing urine

Specific complications

  • Damage to nerves around the knee
  • Developing a lump under the wound
  • Infection in the knee joint
  • Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee (complex regional pain syndrome)

Information leaflet

This document is intended for information purposes only and should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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Guide price for self pay patients

Arthroscopic Meniscetomy

  Consultation Diagnostics Treatment Care after discharge
Hospital costs Included From £350 £2755 Included
Consultant costs From £220 Included Included Included
Estimated total cost  £3325 *
Estimated length of stay  Day case

What's included?

The prices in the table above (the “Guide Prices”) show what most patients should expect to pay at each appointment and on admission to hospital. The Guide Prices you pay might be different depending on your medical history and the type of implant you choose or your Consultant advises is best for you. Your price quotation will be made clear to you before you proceed with any tests, consultations or treatment.

*The guide price is correct as of 2nd March 2017
Mr Stephen Milner DM FRCS (Tr. & Orth.)
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Copyright © 2019 EIDO Healthcare Limited
The operation and treatment information on this webpage is produced using information from EIDO Healthcare Ltd and is licensed by the Horder Centre. The information should not replace advice that your relevant health professional would give you.

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