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Knee keyhole surgery hospital arthroscopy operation medical procedure in emergency room op



Knee arthroscopy, also known as keyhole surgery, is a surgical procedure that allows visualisation of the knee joint without making a large incision (cut) through the skin and other soft tissues. Arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat a wide range of knee problems, including meniscal tears.


During knee arthroscopy, your surgeon inserts a small pencil-sized camera, called an arthroscope, into your knee joint. The camera displays pictures on a video monitor, and your surgeon uses these images to guide miniature surgical instruments.


Because the arthroscope and surgical instruments are thin, your surgeon can use very small incisions, rather than the larger incision needed for open surgery. This results in less pain and joint stiffness for patients, and often shortens the time it takes to recover and return to activity.

 Risks of Surgery

As with all procedures, a knee arthroscopy carries some risks and complications.  


  • Infection

  • Nerve or blood vessel damage

  • Blood clots

  • Persistent pain, swelling, and stiffness

 The Operation

Upon arrival on the day of your surgery, you will be evaluated by a member of the Anaesthesia team. The most common types of anaesthesia are spinal anaesthesia (you are awake but your body is numb from the waist down) or general anaesthesia (you are asleep). The anaesthesia team will make a joint decision with you to determine which type of anaesthesia is best.


The procedure usually takes 30 - 45 minutes.


Two or three small incisions are made at the front of your knee to allow insertion of the camera (arthroscope) and other instruments to perform the procedure.


Sterile saline solution is passed through the knee to make visualisation of the knee structures easier. This fluid is drained at the end of the procedure


Local anaesthetic is injected around the incisions and into the knee to minimise discomfort after surgery


Stitches and/or Steri-Strips are used to close the wounds and a tight bandage is applied.

After the Operation

  •  Pain relief – Making sure that you are comfortable, and your pain is acceptable after surgery is one of the main tasks of the team of people who will be looking after you.


Pain management begins whilst you are in the theatre suite and continues according to your individual requirements throughout your admission.


  • Hospital stay - most patients usually leave hospital on the same day.


  • Physical therapy - you will be advised on how much weight to put through your leg by Mr White and the physiotherapy team, but full weight bearing is usually permitted.

  • Wound care - Your wound will be covered with a special dressing in theatre.  We do not disturb the dressing unless it is heavily soiled, this allows healing to take place and reduces the risk of infection.

Your skin closure will be performed with non-dissolvable sutures. It will take approximately 10-14 days to heal. It is recommended that you do not immerse the dressing in water until your wound has healed completely. Your sutures will need to be removed by your GP Practice Nurse at 10-14 days.


Mr. White and/or your physiotherapist are more than happy to discuss in more detail issues surrounding:

  • Returning to work

  • Driving

  • Anticipated length of rehabilitation


Milton Way



Secretary: Julie Bell


Telephone: 01733 842309


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North West Anglia NHS Foundation Trust (NWAFT)
I Want Great Care Reviews for Mr Jonathan White
Fitzwilliam Hospital, Peterborough
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