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Arthroscopic Knee Surgery is an Ideal Procedure for Most Knee Problems

Arthroscopy is a common surgical intervention in which joints are viewed from inside with help of small cameras. Arthroscopy allows surgeons a clear view of inside of joints, including the knee joint. Arthroscopic knee procedure is an extremely helpful method of diagnosing & treating problems of the knee joint. Technological advances in arthroscopy have led this surgical procedure to high resolution cameras & high definition monitors. These & many other relative improvements have made arthroscopy knee surgery a very effective tool for treating various knee problems. Therefore, it is no surprise that more than 4 million arthroscopies of the knee are performed worldwide every year.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

What is Arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy procedure is typically performed through small incisions. Orthopedic surgeons will insert the arthroscope, containing a small camera which is about the size of a pencil, into the joint of the patient which is to be operated. Subsequently, the arthroscope will send images of the inside of the joint to a television monitor. Surgeons can see structures of the joint in great detail on the monitor through this arrangement. Orthopedic surgeons effectively use arthroscopy to feel, repair & remove damaged tissue of problematic joints. For this purpose, small surgical instruments are also inserted through other minimal incisions which are made around the joint.

What is Knee Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a specialized surgical technique which is designed to diagnose & treat problems which are associated with the knee joint. Orthopedic surgeons for this purpose will make a small incision & insert a tiny camera called arthroscope within the knee of the patient. This will allow the surgeon to view inside of the knee joint on a computer monitor. Following this, the orthopedic surgeon will investigate the problem with the knee joint & if necessary, will correct the issue with small surgical instruments designed for this purpose. Arthroscopy effectively diagnoses several knee problems including torn misaligned patella (kneecap) or a torn meniscus. This procedure is also capable of repairing ligaments of the joints. Moreover, there are limited risks associated with arthroscopic knee surgery & the outlook of this procedure is good for most patients undergoing this surgical intervention. Time for recovery & prognosis of knee arthroscopy will however depend upon severity of knee problem & complexity of the required intervention.

Why Undergo Knee Arthroscopy?

Doctors most often recommend patients to undergo knee arthroscopy when they are experiencing knee pain. Either doctors have already diagnosed the condition causing knee pain, or they may order patients to undergo knee arthroscopy in order to help find diagnosis. In both of these situations, knee arthroscopy is a very useful method to confirm source of knee pain & for treatment of the problem.

What Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Can Do?

baker's-cyst

Arthroscopic knee surgery can diagnose & treat a variety of knee problems including the following.

  • Torn Meniscus (cartilage between bones in knee joint)
  • Torn Anterior or Posterior Cruciate Ligaments
  • Patella which is out of position
  • Removal of Baker’s Cyst
  • Pieces of torn cartilage which are loose inside knee joint
  • Fractures inside knee joint bones
  • Swollen Synovium (lining inside knee joints)

Preparing for Knee Arthroscopy Surgery

When patients have decided to undergo knee arthroscopy, they may need to undergo a complete physical examination with their family physician prior to undergoing surgery. Doctors will also assess their health & identify if there are any problems which could interfere with their surgical intervention. Knee arthroscopy surgery patients must let their orthopedic surgeons know about all medications & supplements they are presently taking. Doctors will in turn tell them as to which medicines patients must stop taking prior to undergoing surgery. Orthopedic surgeons may also order patients to take some preoperative tests & which can help them plan the procedure. Some of these tests may include EKG – electrocardiograms & blood counts.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Procedure

Almost all arthroscopic knee surgeries are performed as an outpatient procedure.

  • ArrivalThe hospital facility will contact the patient with specific details about their appointment. Patients are most likely to be asked to arrive at the hospital at least an hour or two prior to the time of surgery. Patients must also avoid drinking & eating anything from midnight onwards on the night prior to the day they are scheduled to undergo surgery.
  • AnesthesiaA member of the anesthetic team will talk to the patient when they first arrive for surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery is generally performed under local, regional or general anesthesia.
    • Local anesthesia will generally numb just the knee
    • Regional anesthesia will numb patients below the waist
    • General anesthesia will put the patient to sleep during the operation

Anesthesiologists will help patients decide as to which method would best suit their case. In case patients are having local or regional anesthesia, they may be able to witness the procedure on a television monitor.

  • Surgical ProcedureOrthopedic surgeons will make a few small incisions in the patient’s knee for the purpose of arthroscopy knee surgery. Sterile solution will be utilized to fill the knee joint & rinse any cloudy fluid which has accumulated inside. This will enable surgeons see inside of the knee more clearly & in great detail. First task of the surgeon will be to properly diagnose the patient’s problem. For this purpose, surgeon will insert the arthroscope & use the image projected on screen as guide. In case surgical treatment is required, surgeons will subsequently insert tiny instruments through other small incisions. These instruments will hold small tools serving as motorized shavers, scissors & lasers. This part of the procedure usually lasts for about 30 – 60 minutes. However, exact length of time will depend upon the findings & the treatment procedure which is necessary.

Arthroscopy of the Knee is most commonly used for the Following Purposes

Torn-Anterior-Cruciate-Ligament

  • Reconstruction of torn anterior cruciate ligament
  • Removal or repair of torn meniscal cartilage
  • Trimming of torn pieces of articular cartilage
  • Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
  • Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage

Surgeons will usually close incisions with stitches or steri-strips & finally cover them with soft bandage. Arthroscopic knee surgery patients will then be moved to the recovery room & are able to go home after 1 – 2 hours of monitoring. However, patients must ensure that they have arranged for someone to drive them back home.

Risks & Complications Associated with Knee Arthroscopy

Though they are rare, there are risks which are invariably associated with all types of surgery, including the following.

  • Infection at incision sites
  • Excessive bleeding during the surgical procedure
  • Difficulty in breathing caused due to anesthesia
  • Allergic reactions to anesthesia or to other medications which are administered during the surgical operation

Risks which are Specific to Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

  • Stiffness in knee joint
  • Infection inside knee joint
  • Formation of blood clot in leg
  • Bleeding inside knee joint
  • Injury or damage to nerves, blood vessels, meniscus, ligaments or cartilage of the knee

Recovery Following Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Recovery from arthroscopic knee surgery is much faster when compared to traditional open knee surgery. However, it is still important that patients carefully follow instructions given by orthopedic surgeons after returning home. Patients should also ask for someone to be at home with them on the first night following surgery.

  • Swelling & PainPatients must keep their legs elevated as much as possible for the first few days following arthroscopic knee surgery. They should also apply ice as recommended by doctors in order to relieve pain & swelling.
  • Dressing CareMost patients will leave the hospital facility with a dressing covering the knee which was operated upon. Patients must ensure that they keep incisions clean & dry. Orthopedic surgeons will tell them as to when they can bathe, or shower & as to when they should be changing the dressing. Surgeons will also call them to the hospital a few days after surgery for evaluation checkups during recovery. They will at this appointment review progress & surgical findings & start a postoperative treatment program.
  • Bearing WeightMost arthroscopic knee surgery patients would need crutches or some other type of assistance following operation. Orthopedic surgeons will let them know as to when it is safe to put weight on foot & leg. Patients should call on their surgeon in case they have any questions regarding bearing weight.
  • DrivingDoctors would discuss with patients as to when they can drive. This decision is commonly based upon a number of factors including the following.
    • Level of pain experienced by the patient
    • Nature of arthroscopic knee surgery procedure
    • Involvement of knee in surgery
    • Whether the patient is using narcotic pain medications
    • How well is the patient able to control the knee
    • Whether the patient is to drive an automatic or stick shift vehicle

Arthroscopic knee surgery patients are typically able to drive between 1 – 3 weeks following the procedure.

  • MedicationsDoctors would prescribe pain medications for arthroscopic knee surgery patients so as to help relieve discomfort following surgery. They may also recommend blood thinning medications like aspirin in order to lessen risk of forming blood clots.
  • Exercises to Strengthen the KneeArthroscopic knee surgery patients must regularly exercise their knee for several weeks following operation. This will help them restore motion & also strengthen muscles of the knee & leg. Therapeutic exercises will eventually play an important part in how well patients recover. Formal physical therapy programs will go a long way to improve the final result of this surgical treatment.

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Outcome

Unless patients have undergone ligament reconstruction treatment, they should be able to return to most normal physical activities within 6 – 8 weeks of time, or even sooner in some cases. However, high-impact activities must be avoided for a longer period of time. Patients must moreover talk to surgeons before returning to intense physical activities involving the knee. Patients whose job involves heavy working will require a longer period of time before they can return to the job. Patients must therefore discuss with doctors as to when it is safer for them to return to work. Final outcome of arthroscopic knee surgery will most likely be determined by the degree of damage which was treated in the first place. Like for example, in cases where articular cartilage in knee has completely worn away, full recovery may not be possible. Instead it would be better for such patients to change their lifestyle. This will also mean that they must limit their activities & find low-impact exercises as an alternative option.

Affordable Orthopedic Treatments & Surgery in India

India today is one of the leading medical tourism destinations in the world providing a variety of affordable medical procedures including orthopedic treatments to international patients. India portrays a robust healthcare infrastructure which has evolved over the last few decades. Featuring a large pool of specialist doctors & surgeons where many of them have initially trained & experienced in developed countries like UK, Canada & United States before deciding to return to their homeland for practice. Sensing opportunity, apart from locally reputed hospital facilities, several international chains of hospitals like Wockhardt, Fortis, Max Healthcare, Columbia Asia & Apollo Hospitals have opened numerous branches throughout the length & breadth of the country. Moreover, these facilities equipped with the latest technologies are efficiently managed by English speaking professional nurses & technical staff so to generate comfort for the international patient. Additionally, ease of obtaining medical visas is another riding factor which makes India such a popular global healthcare tourism destination.

Undergo Low Cost Arthroscopic Knee Surgery with IndianMedTrip

IndianMedTrip is the best & one of the fastest medical tourism companies based in South Asia. Associated with the best doctors, surgeons & nationally & internationally accredited hospital facilities in India, we are ideally placed so as to provide the most competitive high quality & low cost medical procedures including orthopedic surgeries like arthroscopic knee surgery to people from all around the world. Seamless services offered by IndianMedTrip to international patients begin with the first telephonic conversation with the patient & move on to identifying the best surgeon & the most ideal hospital facility for treatment. Provision for other services include assistance in obtaining medical visa for the patient & his/her accomplice, receiving patients at the airport when they arrive for treatment, arrangement of convenient local travel, comfortable choice of accommodations including budget hotels, luxury hotels or serviced apartments which are close to the hospital, scheduled appointments with doctors & surgeons for treatment procedures without any waiting period, choice of exotic recuperative holidays at reasonable costs, follow-up evaluation checks & farewell sendoff when patients are flying back home.

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