Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure by which the internal structure of a joint is examined for diagnosis and/or treatment using a tube-like viewing instrument called an arthroscope. Typically, it is performed by orthopedic surgeons in an outpatient setting. This allows them to view the inside of the joint on a screen. The surgeon can then investigate a problem with the knee and, if necessary, correct the issue using small instruments within the arthroscope.
Arthroscopy diagnoses several knee problems, such as a torn meniscus or a misaligned patella (kneecap). It can also repair the ligaments of the joint. There are limited risks to the procedure and the outlook is good for most patients. Your recovery time and prognosis will depend on the severity of the knee problem and the complexity of the required procedure.
This surgery isn’t very invasive. For most people, the procedure takes less than an hour depending on the specific procedure. You will likely go home on the same day for recovery. You will also probably need to see your surgeon for a follow-up appointment a few days after the procedure.