Knee arthroscopy is surgery that is done through the use of a tiny camera to see inside your knee. Other medical instruments may also be inserted to repair your knee. A knee arthroscopy may be recommended for these knee problems:
- A torn meniscus. Meniscus is cartilage that cushions the space between the bones in the knee. Surgery is done to repair or remove it.
- A torn or damaged anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or posterior cruciate ligament (PCL)
- Inflamed or damaged lining of the joint. This lining is called the synovium.
- Misalignment of the kneecap (patella). Misalignment puts the kneecap out of position.
- Small pieces of broken cartilage in the knee joint
- Removal of Baker's cyst -- a swelling behind the knee that is filled with fluid. Sometimes this occurs when there is inflammation (soreness and pain) from other causes, like arthritis.
- Some fractures of the bones of the knee
Total Knee Replacement
A total knee replacement is a surgical procedure that replaces the damaged or diseased knee with artificial parts. All three compartments of the knee are replaced. The procedure moves the patella (knee cap) to the outside so that the bones of the knee are exposed. The ends of the femur (thigh bone) and tibia (shin bone) are cut to fit the prosthesis. A metal cup fits on the end of the thigh bone, a metal tray fits on top of the shin bone and a plastic insert fits between the two. The bearing surface is then the metal thigh component rolling against the plastic insert fixed to the shin bone. The knee cap is resurfaced with a plastic bottom, so all moving parts are now plastic against metal. The knee no longer has bone grinding against bone. A total knee replacement can last 15 to 20 years.