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Arthroscopy of the Knee


This is a minimally invasive surgical procedure in which a miniature telescope-like instrument is passed into the joint so that the surgeon can see the inside of the knee in great detail, and operate through just two small incisions.

An arthroscopy can be for diagnosis or treatment. Some conditions that may require this procedure include:

Meniscal tear diagram

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 here.

3. Arthritis

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.


02 9735 3637
02 9735 3635

Hip & Knee Clinic
Retail 4/8 Australia Ave
Sydney Olympic Park
Homebush Bay NSW 2127
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