1. Meniscal tears
Tearing of the cartilage that cushions the knee joint can cause a number of symptoms, including pain and swelling. An arthroscopy may be performed to remove part of the damaged meniscus (cushining cartilage), or in some younger patients the meniscus can sometimes be repaired. This procedure may require a separate incision and take longer before full activities can be resumed.
2. Cruciate ligament reconstruction
The operation involves replacing the torn cruciate ligament with either the hamstring tendons or patella tendon from the same leg. Read more about Anterior Cruciate Ligament Reconstruction
Occasionally, arthritis can be helped by arthroscopy. Often it is performed as a “grease and oil change” for a knee that will eventually require a knee replacement. An arthroscopy cannot cure arthritis and sometimes results can be disappointing.
4. Loose bodies
Loose pieces of cartilage or bone can occur due to a variety of causes. They can be removed during arthroscopy.
5. Diagnosis or assessment
Arthroscopy is useful to assess the inside of the knee to determine the suitability for other surgical procedures.
6. Knee cap pain
A painful patella (knee cap) may be an indication for arthroscopy after treatment with physiotherapy. If there are loose fragments of carilage behind the kneecap these can be removed during an arthroscopy. Another treatment of patella pain is to perform a lateral release. This is a procedure where tight structures pulling the wrong way on your kneecap are released.
7. Cartilage biopsy if you are a candidate for cartilage transplant
A specimen may be taken at the time of your arthroscopy which may be used at a later time. This may avoid a repeat operation to take a sample of cartilage.