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Why Do You Need Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Feb 15, 2019


Are you suffering from knee pain, loss of motion, swelling, or redness in your knee? Did you injure your knee while playing sports or from turning the knee in an awkward way? You may be a candidate for arthroscopic knee surgery. Read on to learn when you should visit Peconic Bay Medical Center, a facility that provides orthopedic sports medicine in Suffolk County, NY.

Nonoperative Option

Your doctor may recommend you try nonoperative or conservative management before having a knee arthroscopy. A physical therapist may develop an exercise program that improves your mobility and restores your knee function. Anti-inflammatory medication may take care of the swelling in your knee.

Need for Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy allows orthopedic surgeons to find the causes of knee problems and to use small instruments to correct the problem. Injuries that can be fixed through arthroscopic knee surgery include:

  • A torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament. You've heard of a torn ACL ending an athlete's season. It could also sideline you.
  • A torn meniscus. Your meniscus is the cartilage between the bones of your knee. A traumatic injury is usually the cause of a torn meniscus in a younger person. As you grow older, tissue in your knee deteriorates, so an awkward turn or a twist could cause a meniscus tear.
  • An out-of-place patella or kneecap.
  • Loose pieces of torn cartilage in your knee joint.
  • A Baker's cyst, a sac of fluid that can form behind the knee. The cyst can be removed during a knee arthroscopy.
  • A fractured bone in your knee.
  • Damaged or swollen lining of your knee joint.


Scoping the Knee

Arthroscopic knee surgery, or scoping the knee, is an outpatient procedure. You'll receive an anesthetic—a local anesthetic that only numbs the knee, a regional anesthetic that numbs you from the waist down, or a general anesthetic that puts you in a sleep-like state.

The surgeon will make small incisions in your knee, and saline will be pumped into your knee to expand it. The surgeon inserts the arthroscope with a camera attached into an incision. The images of your knee will be displayed on a monitor.

Once the surgeon recognizes what's wrong, he or she will insert small instruments into the incisions to correct the problem. After the correction is made, the surgeon drains the saline and closes the incisions with stitches.


Your surgery may take less than an hour, and you can go home the same day. You'll wear a dressing over the area. You'll need to have someone stay with you the day after the procedure. Keep your leg elevated and iced for a day or two. Your doctor will recommend a physical therapist to help you regain full range of motion in your knee and to strengthen your muscles.

If you injure your knee or suffer from knee pain or swelling, visit Peconic Bay Medical Center's team of orthopedic surgeons in Suffolk, County, NY. You'll get the treatment you need to get you back on the playing field or back to your daily routine.