Dr. Gold's Orthopedic Surgery Blog

Surgeon and Author, Dr. Stuart Gold,
Blogs About Orthopedic Care

About Dr. Stuart Gold, MD


What is arthroscopic knee surgery? What are the risks? What is the success rate?

October 7th, 2011

A common question I get from patients is “What is arthroscopic knee surgery?” That said, here is some information about the procedure, the risks and the success rates.

When mechanical knee pain, such as a meniscus tear, persists an arthroscopy of the knee would be indicated. This surgical procedure involves placing a telescope into the knee, which is in turn connected to a camera and monitor. The incisions for this type of surgery are very small. One incision is used for the telescope and one or two others are created for instruments, which are used to correct and deal with the cause of the pain and mechanical symptoms.

Overall this is a low risk procedure, but as with any surgery, not risk free.

Besides anaesthia risks, there is a small chance of:

  • infection
  • thrombophlebitis
  • residual pain
  • stiffness.

In some patients post operative swelling can linger for weeks.

In most cases the success rate is very high and predictable, usually about 90% improvement of preoperative pain, as well as significant improvement in function. Ligament reconstructions can also be done arthroscopically.  Loose body removals as well as local treatment for early arthritis as well as focal areas of advanced arthritis can be treated this way as well. Arthroscopy for advanced cases of arthritis has not been very effective.

I hope that helps you learn more about arthroscopic knee surgery, its risks and success rates.

Until next time,

Stuart

About the Author: Dr. Stuart Gold, M.D. is a board certified orthopedic surgeon who has 23 years experience specializing in sport injuries, joint replacement, arthritis and limb salvage. As the Director of the Orthopedic Institute, Dr. Gold recently published The Patient's Guide To Orthopedic Surgery to help patients better understand the challenges, risks and opportunities of orthopedic care.

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