What Is Knee Arthroscopy?

The knee is one of the most important joints with a vital role in mobility and posture, formed where the thighbone and shinbone meet. The kneecap (patella) is positioned at the end of the thighbone, resting on a groove. Two articular cartilages known as menisci function as shock absorbers to cushion the joint and help with loadbearing. 

The knee's bones are connected and stabilized by several cruciate and collateral ligaments, and the surrounding muscles attach to the bones via tendons providing joint mobility. Additionally, the joint is lined with a synovial membrane that secrets lubricating fluid.

The knee is vulnerable to injuries that may require operative treatment to address the damage. Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive diagnostic and surgical procedure utilized to address issues such as:

  • Torn meniscus
  • Torn ligaments
  • Frayed articular cartilage
  • Inflamed synovial membrane
  • Bone fractures
  • Dislocated kneecap
  • Baker's cyst

Using small incisions around the knee, physicians insert a narrow tube with a camera at the end (arthroscope) to visualize the joint and inspect the damage internally. Physicians may additionally order X-rays, CT scans, or MRI imaging to fully assess the damage to surrounding structures. 

If the injuries are limited, conservative treatment could alleviate the symptoms. However, patients may require arthroscopic knee surgery to repair any damaged tissues if knee pain persists despite non-surgical approaches.