Knee arthroscopy

A minimally invasive procedure for knee problems

Arthroscopy is a keyhole procedure used to evaluate and diagnose conditions like cartilage damage and arthritis

What is a knee arthroscopy?

If you have pain or stiffness in your knees, arthroscopy is a straightforward procedure that allows your consultant to see inside your knee joint using a small surgical camera (arthroscope) and identify the problem. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a range of common knee problems without the need for open surgery.

Need to know

  • What happens during a knee arthroscopy? icon plus

    Knee arthroscopy is usually done under general anaesthetic. In some circumstances it can also be done under local anaesthetic with sedation, which means you'll be awake but the area will be numb during the procedure.

    Your surgeon will recommend the best approach for you. Your surgeon will make two to four very small cuts on your knee to insert the arthroscope. A sterile solution will be used to inflate the joint so that they can see inside it more clearly. If they identify a problem, specialised surgical instruments may be used to trim or repair damaged tissue on the same day. The whole procedure usually takes 30 to 45 minutes.
  • How to prepare icon plus

    Your consultant will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions you may have. They will let you know how to prepare, including how long you should avoid eating and drinking beforehand.

    Like all procedures, there may be some risks and side effects involved. Your consultant will explain these to you.
  • After an arthroscopy icon plus

    You should be able to return home the same day as the procedure. The small cuts over your knee will be closed with stitches or adhesive strips.

    The hospital staff will let you know what to expect and how to care for your knee while it heals. Your knee may feel swollen and tender for a few weeks.

    Your consultant may recommend some physiotherapy exercises to help improve your mobility as you recover. They'll also let you know if any further tests or procedures may be needed and when you can get back to your usual routine.

Our knee consultants

We're proud to work with leading orthopaedic experts specialising in knee problems and conditions, and whose skills are matched by their integrity and compassion.

Our locations

From complex knee surgery to diagnostic tests and procedures, we provide exceptional orthopaedic care across our network of hospitals, outpatient centres and specialist clinics.

Request an appointment

Our team can help with any enquiries or you make an appointment with one of our experienced consultants.

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020 7079 4344
This content is intended for general information only and does not replace the need for personal advice from a qualified health professional.
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