The knee joint is a hinge joint between the top of the shin bone (tibia) and bottom of thigh bone (femur) – these and the two biggest components of the knee joint. There is another joint in the knee in between the kneecap (patella) and the thigh bone (femur). This is known as the patello-femoral joint.
There are two main types of cartilage in the knee:
1) Articular cartilage – This is the hard-wearing smooth cartilage that lines the bones of the joints to enable free movement with minimal friction. Depending on the amount and severity of damage it might be possible to deal with the issue with knee arthroscopy initially. If the damage to this cartilage is significant, it implies that you have severe osteoarthritis (kindly refer to the section on knee osteoarthritis and total knee replacement).
2) Meniscus – This is a specialised type of shock absorbing cartilage that is located towards the periphery of the knee joint.
The meniscus could be damaged or torn because of trauma to the knee from twisting, falling, jumping, being tackled etc. It may also be damaged during normal wear and tear as part of the aging process.
Once all non-operative treatment options have been exhausted and based on the type, location and severity of damage to either the articular cartilage or meniscus you might benefit from keyhole surgery – knee arthroscopy. This might involve any of the following procedures:
- Meniscal repair – repair of meniscus
- Partial meniscectomy – excision of parts of meniscus that cannot be repaired
- Removal of loose bodies
- Chondroplasty – smoothening of damaged articular cartilage
- Microfracture – cartilage regeneration procedure
These are a largely successful and safe operations that are routinely performed as day case operations in patients with knee cartilage or soft tissue problems. Knee arthroscopy has lower risk of complications than traditional surgery and usually results in less pain, a shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery.
The benefits of having knee arthroscopic surgery are:
- Reduced pain
- Reduced mechanical symptoms (locking, catching, giving way) in the knee
- Increased mobility
- Improved quality of life
If you think you may benefit from knee arthroscopy, please don’t hesitate to Enquire Now so that we can arrange a consultation.