What is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is a popular surgical procedure designed to provide patients with a quicker recovery time and less pain compared to traditional open surgery. This minimally invasive technique allows orthopedic surgeons to view the inside of the injured knee joint, diagnose the injury and perform the repair. Arthroscopic knee surgery uses an arthroscope (a tiny camera) and special, thin surgical instruments to examine, diagnose and repair the knee and surrounding structures. Dr. Matthew Provencher, orthopedic knee surgeon in the Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado area, is able to treat a variety of knee injuries and conditions in a minimally invasive, arthroscopic approach.
What Does Knee Arthroscopy Treat?
Arthroscopic knee surgery is performed by Dr. Provencher to treat a wide number of knee injuries and conditions, such as:
- Knee fractures
- Damaged or torn ligaments
- Damaged or torn meniscus
- Articular cartilage defects
Dr. Provencher performs knee arthroscopy in many patients to treat a variety of knee injuries and conditions. With this minimally invasive technique, he creates small incisions in and around the injured area to enter and inspect the knee joint. With help from the arthroscope, he is able to examine the injury in great detail and determine which surgical technique is appropriate.
The majority of arthroscopic knee surgery procedures are performed on an out-patient basis under regional or general anesthesia by Dr. Provencher and his orthopedic team.
What is the Recovery After Knee Arthroscopy?
Patients can still expect a few weeks of recovery time after this minimally invasive procedure even though recovery is quicker than an open surgery in most cases. Dr. Provencher and his team will prescribe a detailed post-operative and rehabilitation program all patients are required to follow after knee arthroscopy. It is strongly suggested that patients work with the in-house physical therapists at Howard Head Sports Medicine to optimize their rehabilitation.
The post-operative dressing must be kept clean and dry following surgery. The bandages must be removed by the patient two days after the procedure, not before or after the two day mark. After the dressing is removed, it is recommended patients cover the sutures with Band-Aids so they do not get caught on clothing, blankets and other soft fabrics. A patient may shower at this time, but it is important to keep the incisions dry for up to two weeks.
After arthroscopic knee surgery, patients can expect some level of pain, swelling and general discomfort in and around the repaired knee joint. Patients are encouraged to use ice packs to decrease pain and swelling. Pain medication is prescribed by Dr. Provencher in many cases and patients are expected to follow usage instructions at all times.
The majority of patients will begin the physical therapy program prescribed by Dr. Provencher the first day of surgery. The rehabilitation program between the patient, physical therapist and Dr. Provencher is critical to success following any arthroscopic knee surgery.
For more resources on knee arthroscopy, or to determine if you are a candidate for arthroscopic knee surgery, please contact the Vail, Aspen and Denver, Colorado orthopedic office of knee surgeon Dr. Matthew Provencher.