Knee Arthroscopy

This page provides a summary about an arthroscopy of the knee. Please contact your General Practitioner or healthcare professional for further information.

Arthroscopy of the knee

An arthroscopy, or keyhole surgery as it is also known, is a procedure which involves inserting a camera through small incisions in the skin. This allows your surgeon to see inside your knee and diagnose common problems including a torn cartilage, arthritis and ligament damage.

How can surgery benefit knee problems?

An arthroscopy enables your surgeon to diagnose and often treat the problem at the same time.

Is there an alternative to surgery?

MRI scans, also known as magnetic scans, can often diagnose problems inside the knee, but an arthroscopy may still be required to address the problem.

What happens during the operation?

A selection of anaesthetic techniques is available for the operation, which usually takes approximately half an hour to three-quarters of an hour.

During the arthroscopy your surgeon will take a look inside your knee. As well as washing out any loose material caused by wear of the joint surfaces, they can usually trim or repair a torn cartilage without making a larger cut.

We look forward to hearing from you to discuss your needs and see how we can get you the best treatment, quickly and affordably.


What complications should I know about?

General complications:

• Pain
• Bleeding
• Scarring
• Infection of the surgical site (wound)
• Difficulty urinating
• Blood clots

Specific complications:

• Infection in the knee joint
• Damage to nerves around the knee
• Developing a lump under the wound
• Severe pain, stiffness and loss of use of the knee (complex regional pain syndrome)

What is the recovery time?

In general, you should be able to go home on the same day the procedure is performed.

It is not unusual for your knee to be a little swollen for a few weeks and walking can be uncomfortable.

You should be able to return to normal activities as soon as possible if you exercise regularly.

However, always ask your GP or healthcare professional for advice before you begin exercising.

Your surgeon will be able to tell you if you are likely to get further problems with your knee.

In general, most people make a good recovery and can return to normal activities. 


An arthroscopy enables your surgeon to diagnose and treat many common problems affecting the knee, without cutting a large area of the skin. It could also reduce the amount of pain you experience and speed up your recovery post-surgery.

We would love to hear from you to discuss your needs and see how we can get you the best treatment, quickly and affordably.

Please contact us for further information about treatments not listed here

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