Arthroscopic Meniscus Repair of Knee PreOp® Patient Education Featureby PreOp.com Patient Engagement - Patient Education   10 years ago

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Your doctor has recommended that you have arthroscopic surgery in order to repair a torn meniscus in your knee. But what does that actually mean?

The knee is one of the most important and one of the most complex joints in your body.

It is made up of bone, ligament and cartilage. Damage to any individual part can dramatically restrict the normal movement of the leg and can even interfere with the ability to walk.

Let's take a look at the way the knee is put together. The femur, or thigh bone, meets the tibia to create a flexible joint called the knee.

Helping to stabilize the knee are flexible bands of tissue called ligaments.

Protecting the bony surfaces that rub together, are pads of tissue called cartilage.

Cartilage acts like a cushion. Without it, every time you bend at the knee, you would cause the major bones of the leg to grind together.

The meniscus is cartilage that not only protects the bone, but also acts like the leg's shock absorber.

Twisting or bending the knee during sports or even normal activity can damage the meniscus.

Symptoms include swelling, restricted movement, pain and even the inability to stand on the effected leg.

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Before your doctor can insert the arthroscope,
the surgical team will inject a clear fluid into the joint. This fluid will inflate the interior space, and will help your doctor by providing an unobstructed view. Patient Education
Once in place the arthroscope...
will provide video images ...
so the surgeon can insert the instruments through one or more small openings.
After inspecting the extent of the damage to the meniscus, your doctor will repair the meniscus with tiny staples,
...or remove it altogether.
Finally, all the instruments are withdrawn...
and the clear fluid is allowed to drain from the knee.
Following surgery, sterile dressings are applied. To aid in healing, your knee may be stabilized with a brace and you will be encouraged to use crutches during the recovery process.

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Following the procedure, you'll be moved then to a recovery area where you can relax until the sedation and anesthetic has worn off - and until the doctor is satisfied that you are fit to go home. Plan on spending several hours in recovery. Your doctor may be able to give you a more precise estimate prior to surgery.

Before you leave, you'll probably be prescribed a pain killer along with any other medication your doctor feels you need to take.

Arthroscopic knee surgery only rarely leads to complications.

The first is a persistent residual neuralgia - or pain - around the incision sites. It can be either localized or general.
The first is a persistent residual neuralgia - or pain - around the incision sites. It can be either localized or general.

It may develop soon after surgery - or even weeks or months later. Usually it will decrease with time, but in very rare situations, it can become permanent.
It may develop soon after surgery - or even weeks or months later. Usually it will decrease with time, but in very rare situations, it can become permanent.

Finally, as mentioned earlier, the surgical team may decide to end the Arthroscopic procedure and convert to open surgery.
Finally, as mentioned earlier, the surgical team may decide to end the Arthroscopic procedure and convert to open surgery.
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Once you return home, you will be responsible to keeping the dressing intact and clean.

As with all surgery, you should be alert for signs of infection near the incision - increased swelling, redness, bleeding or other discharge. Your doctor may advise you to be on the alert for other symptoms as well. If you experience any unusual symptoms, report them to your doctor right away.

You may also notice some bruising in the general area of the incision. The discoloration may be extensive - but as with any bruise, it should heal on it's own.

Before you leave, you'll be given discharge guidelines which may include diet, medication, work and other activity restrictions.

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