What is knee arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical technique that helps doctors diagnose and treat knee injuries. During the procedure, your doctor will make a small incision and insert a tool with a camera at the end. The camera displays the images, aiding your medical team in diagnosing your injury.

When is knee arthroscopy recommended?

Doctors typically recommend knee arthroscopy if you’ve tried other nonsurgical methods without success. Such treatments can include rest, physical therapy, ice and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. Arthroscopy helps healthcare providers get a good look at the cartilage, bones and soft tissues of the knee.

Many athletes, including adolescents, develop knee injuries through sports. Those playing contact sports or activities that require jumping or harsh movements have an increased risk of injury.

Common knee arthroscopy procedures

  • Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or a posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
  • Partial removal of the meniscus, known as meniscectomy, or a repair of a torn meniscus
  • Removing loose fragments of bone or cartilage
  • Treating kneecap problems
  • Reconstructing damaged articular cartilage

Recovery time

Because it’s minimally invasive, knee arthroscopy is usually an outpatient procedure. This means the patient goes home the same day the procedure is done.

Over the next few days, you can expect to feel some pain as you recover. However, your healthcare provider will give you pain medication for any discomfort. You’ll also need to stay off your feet and keep your knee elevated.


Most people will resume normal activities without complication after knee arthroscopy. However, that depends on the extent of your initial knee damage. If you’ve had significant damage to your joint, you may need to change your lifestyle and limit high-impact activities.

If you’re sidelined because of a knee injury, let Missouri Orthopedics and Advanced Sports Medicine help you. Contact us today to get more information and discuss your options.