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What is a Knee Scope?

A knee scope, or arthroscopy, is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that allows doctors to examine and treat joint issues with precision. Using a tiny camera and instruments, they can address problems like torn cartilage with less pain and quicker recovery. Intrigued by how this technology could benefit you or a loved one? Discover the full scope of its advantages in our detailed guide.
Madeleine A.
Madeleine A.

Knee scope refers to knee arthroscopy, which is a surgical procedure where a joint is visualized via a small camera. Arthroscopic surgery allows the orthopedic surgeon to evaluate and treat certain types of knee conditions by providing a detailed view of the anatomy of the knee. A knee scope utilizes high-resolution imaging devices which allow for more accuracy in diagnosis and offer a less-invasive option for treating knee problems.

Typically, the knee is one of the easiest joints to injure because it is the largest in the body. Frequently, knee problems related to injuries and arthritis can be effectively treated with a knee scope. Arthroscopic surgery can be used in the diagnoses and treatment of torn ligaments, problems with the meniscus or cartilage, and loose bone fragments.

A physician can examine knee cartilage with a knee scope.
A physician can examine knee cartilage with a knee scope.

Usually, a knee scope is performed in an outpatient setting. The type of anesthetic the patient receives depends on his general state of health and prior anesthetic history. Frequently, regional or local anesthesia will be utilized during knee surgery, unless the patient had an unfavorable reaction to this type of anesthetic in the past. If this is the case, the physician may elect to use a general anesthetic, where the patient will be put to sleep by the anesthesiologist.

Knee scopes allow orthopedic surgeons to evaluate certain types of knee conditions.
Knee scopes allow orthopedic surgeons to evaluate certain types of knee conditions.

Generally, the typical knee scope procedure involves the orthopedic surgeon fashioning a series of small incisions or cuts in the knee. Commonly, the surgeon then uses a sterile fluid to fill the joint and help clean away cloudy or blood-filled fluid. This will allow the surgeon to gain a clearer look at the knee. Usually, after the incisions have been made, the arthroscope will be inserted to diagnose the knee problem and use a number of small instruments to repair damaged knee structures.

Following a knee scope, the knee will be covered with sterile bandages.
Following a knee scope, the knee will be covered with sterile bandages.

At the conclusion of knee scope surgery, the surgeon will approximate the edges of the knee incisions and close them with paper tape or small sutures. The closed incisions are then usually covered with sterile bandages and the patient is moved to a recovery area where he will be monitored for complications. In the recovery room, knee scope surgical patients are monitored for excessive bleeding, pain and abnormal vital signs.

The knee is one of the easiest joints to injure, as it is the largest joint in the body.
The knee is one of the easiest joints to injure, as it is the largest joint in the body.

After the surgeon deems the patient to be in stable condition, he will be discharged home. The surgical patient will not be allowed to drive home because of the risk of reopening the incision sites. In addition, the effects of anesthesia may still be present. Once home, it is recommended the patient be monitored for increased pain, swelling or redness of the surgical site. If fever, chills or difficulty breathing occur, an immediate return to the hospital is order, so the physician can rule out infection or blood clot.

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Discussion Comments

anon1005777

I had an ACL reconstruction 15 or 20 years ago and the doctor didn’t fix my meniscus so now I need a knee scope to fix a mistake that a surgeon didn’t fix, so I feel your pain.

anon1001617

My husband had a scope done in the past on his right knee and it didn't work. Can you tell me of different way to reduce his pain?

Pleasem I am scared for him because he had a bad experience on the operating table.

anon980265

I don't know how old your post is, but I sure hope you have gotten some help for your pain. I would try to see a doctor who believes in natural healing. Sometimes they can manipulate your body and possibly help you.

My doctor is an Osteopath. -- Stella W.

anon307756

I am 18 I have had knee pain almost every day for the past five years. I have been to numerous doctors and I have had two MRIs and both come back normal.

The pain can get so bad it hurts to put any weight on it at all and my knee will give out at times, not very often yet, but it has gotten worse in the past five years.

I am going to a orthopedic surgeon again next week and I have a feeling that he will tell me the same thing all the others have: There is nothing wrong. I will not take that for an answer this time. Advice, anyone?

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    • A physician can examine knee cartilage with a knee scope.
      By: Alexandr Mitiuc
      A physician can examine knee cartilage with a knee scope.
    • Knee scopes allow orthopedic surgeons to evaluate certain types of knee conditions.
      By: kosmos111
      Knee scopes allow orthopedic surgeons to evaluate certain types of knee conditions.
    • Following a knee scope, the knee will be covered with sterile bandages.
      By: Kurhan
      Following a knee scope, the knee will be covered with sterile bandages.
    • The knee is one of the easiest joints to injure, as it is the largest joint in the body.
      By: .shock
      The knee is one of the easiest joints to injure, as it is the largest joint in the body.
    • A knee scope procedure may require the use of general anesthesia for the patient.
      By: evok20
      A knee scope procedure may require the use of general anesthesia for the patient.