Arthroscopic Knee Surgery: What You Need to Know

We offer many different knee surgery procedures at Rebound and use innovative techniques and the latest technology to perform them. Arthroscopic knee surgery is just one of the advanced procedures we offer to treat knee injuries and conditions.

Dr. Evan D. Ellis, one of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons with expertise in arthroscopic knee surgery, explains everything you need to know about the procedure below.

What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a common, minimally invasive procedure performed by orthopedic surgeons to diagnose and treat a variety of knee injuries and conditions.

“This procedure allows us insert a very small camera through an incision to get an inside view of the knee joint,” says Dr. Ellis. “With the help of the high resolution cameras we use at Rebound, we’re able to determine where and what the problem is and treat it in a fairly short time frame.”

What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Commonly Used to Treat?

Rebound knee specialists may recommend arthroscopic knee surgery for reconstructive or reparative purposes. Some of the most common uses for this form of knee surgery include:

What Happens During the Procedure?

“One of the many benefits of arthroscopic knee surgery is the actual duration of the procedure. This surgery is commonly an outpatient procedure, meaning you are typically able to go home the same day as your surgery,” says Dr. Ellis.

Here is a quick look at the arthroscopic process:

  • Anesthesia – with this procedure, you have the option of going under local, regional or general anesthesia. Unlike with general anesthesia, local and regional allow you to remain awake. If you would prefer to watch your procedure, the latter two options may be for you.
  • Incision and diagnosis – your surgeon will make two or three small incisions in your knee and fill the joint with a saline solution. This solution will help the surgeon see more clearly inside the joint, so he or she may come to a proper diagnosis.
  • Arthroscope insertion – your surgeon will insert the small camera, or arthroscope, into your knee through the incisions. The arthroscope is attached to a monitor that projects the video feed from the arthroscope.
  • Surgery – if your surgeon determines that surgical treatment is needed, another small incision will be made. Through this incision, your surgeon will use small surgical tools to perform a reconstruction or removal of the damaged part of the knee.
  • Completion – after, your surgeon will drain the solution and close the incisions.

What Are the Benefits of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

  • Full recovery is typically faster (traditional open knee surgery often involves a much longer recovery process)
  • The surgery is considered an outpatient procedure, and you are often able to return home an hour or two after surgery
  • Depending on the extent of knee damage and circumstances, the surgery may last anywhere from 30 minutes to a little over an hour

What is the Recovery Process for Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

“Arthroscopic knee surgery is known for being an effective treatment method with a fast recovery process,” says Dr. Ellis. “Full recovery may take 6-8 weeks, sometimes longer. Like with any surgery, recovery depends on the severity of the problem as well as the patient’s commitment to their recovery plan.”

Rebound’s knee specialists will help you return to your normal activities by developing a recovery plan for you to follow after surgery. This involves:

  • How to adequately deal with swelling post-surgery
  • How to properly care for and bandage the incision area
  • What medications may be recommended
  • When to drive or resume activities that place weight on your leg
  • What exercises to perform to strengthen your knee

“Exercise to regain functionality of your knee is one of the most important steps you can take after surgery,” says Dr. Ellis. “Our physical therapy team designs programs specifically catered to your needs. After this type of procedure, your exercises will focus on strengthening the muscles surrounding the joint, restoring your range of motion and stabilizing your knee.”


Rebound Knee Resources:

Knee Surgery Procedures and Team

A Guide to Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee Pain Treatment Options

Common Running Injuries and How to Treat Them

ACL Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Meniscus Tears

Trusted Knee Resources:

American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgery (AAOS) – Knee Arthroscopy

AAOS – Knee Arthroscopy Gets Patients Back on Their Feet Fast

AAOS – Knee Arthroscopy Exercise Guide

BoneSmart – Knee Arthroscopy