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How is arthroscopic knee surgery performed?

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Quick Answer

During a knee arthroscopy, doctors give a local, regional or general anesthetic to the patient and make tiny incisions in the knee, according to Healthline. Sterile salt water is used to enlarge the knee, allowing the physician to view the inner part of the joint.

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Most doctors typically perform a knee arthroscopy to discover and repair knee problems, says Healthline. The procedure helps confirm the source of pain and restore a person's knee mobility. Individuals with a torn meniscus, a misaligned kneecap, or torn front or back cruciate ligaments may benefit from undergoing a knee arthroscopy.

After making incisions, a surgeon inserts a small camera known as an arthroscope to check the inside of the joint, explains Healthline. Doctors can see photos of the knee's interior on a monitor inside the operating room. Small tools are used to rectify any problem discovered while using the arthroscope. The surgeon drains the sterile salt solution from the joint after completing the surgery and makes some stitches to close the incisions.

As knee arthroscopy is minimally invasive, it often lasts for one to two hours only and results in a fast recovery, notes Healthline. Patients who undergo the surgery typically leave the hospital on the same day of the procedure. Doctors provide an ice pack and a dressing to minimize swelling and pain.

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