This minimally invasive procedure uses a tiny camera to investigate and treat a number of common knee conditions.

Knee Arthroscopy

Orthopaedics Infoline

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How do I know if I need a knee arthroscopy?

Arthroscopy aka knee keyhole surgery is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used to treat a number of common knee conditions. Using very small incisions and by inserting a tiny camera, the surgeon is able to clearly examine the internal structure of the knee joint and identify any problems. These images are projected onto a screen nearby and are used to guide the surgical instruments that will perform the surgery.

Knee arthroscopy is recommended for patients that remain symptomatic despite non-operative treatments such as pain medication and physiotherapy. It is used for a range of standard surgical procedures that include meniscus debridement and repair, ACL and PCL ligament reconstruction and patella realignment. It is an effective and successful way to treat knee conditions in order to help relieve pain and restore mobility and function.

What are the general recovery times?

The recovery time from an arthroscopic procedure will very much depend on the extent of the operation. It can range from a relatively short 30-minute operation, such as a meniscectomy where you will be sent home the same day, to a more complicated ACL reconstruction which will require an overnight stay. 

On returning home, you may feel tired for a few days and there will be some swelling around the knee. Keeping your leg elevated and applying regular ice packs will help to reduce the pain and swelling. Follow your doctor’s advice on post-operative care and use crutches to protect your knee while walking. Exercises to strengthen the muscles around the knee can also help with the recovery process. It usually takes around 6 weeks to fully recover from arthroscopic surgery. In the case of tissue or ligament repair, a full recovery can take up to a year.


Preparing for knee arthroscopy involves several steps to ensure your safety and the success of the surgery. You may need to undergo preoperative tests, such as blood tests or imaging scans. It's important to inform your surgeon about any medications you're taking, as some may need to be stopped before the surgery. Fasting for several hours prior to the procedure is usually required. Additionally, arranging for someone to drive you home post-surgery is essential, as you won't be able to drive immediately after the procedure.

Knee Arthroscopy

Knee Arthroscopy FAQs

A knee arthroscopy typically takes between 30 minutes to over an hour, depending on the complexity of the procedure and the specific issues being addressed in your knee.
Yes, most patients are able to walk shortly after knee arthroscopy. However, your ability to walk unassisted will depend on the extent of the procedure and your individual recovery. Your surgeon will provide specific guidance based on your situation.
Crutches or other walking aids may be recommended for a short period after your surgery, especially if you're experiencing discomfort or instability. The duration will depend on the extent of your surgery and your individual recovery process.
Light exercises, such as walking or gentle range-of-motion activities, can often be started soon after surgery. However, returning to more strenuous activities or sports will typically take several weeks and should be done under the guidance of your healthcare team.
The ability to drive depends on which knee was operated on, your overall mobility, and reaction time post-surgery. It's generally recommended to wait until you can move your knee comfortably and are no longer taking prescription pain medication. This can be anywhere from a few days to a few weeks after the procedure.
There's no set limit to the number of knee arthroscopies you can have. However, the decision to have multiple procedures depends on various factors, including the condition of your knee, the success of previous surgeries, and your overall health. Your surgeon will advise you on the best course of action.
treatment and recovery

How much will my knee surgery cost?

Understanding the cost of your treatment is an important consideration before committing to surgery, but it’s not always easy to find the information you need. Learn more about the factors which contribute to the cost of your surgery:

Treatment Costs – Knee Arthroscopy

What will my treatment and recovery look like?

Familiarising yourself with your treatment program and understanding the recovery process are important steps to take on the pathway to surgery.

Patient journey - Knee Surgery

treatment and recovery

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