An arthroscopy is a type of surgery used to inspect the inside of a joint and, where necessary, treat it using a tool called an arthroscope.
There are two types of surgical procedure practiced on the knee:
- the conventional approach, which involves open knee surgery with an incision of around ten centimeters in length,
- arthroscopy, which is a form of keyhole surgery in which the internal structures of the knee can be viewed and repaired through a fiber optic system. This procedure reduces the duration of surgery and the risk of infection.
Usually, the surgeon requires three entry points for an arthroscopy to repair a meniscal tear:
- the first is for the arthroscope
, a “camera” made up of a lens and fiber optics connected to a light source,
- two others are used to introduce small instruments to repair, cut or remove segments in the knee.
An arthroscopy is a form of surgery
. It is practiced under general anesthetic, loco-regional anesthetic (anesthesia of the knee and part of the leg) or by epidural (anesthesia of the lower part of the body). Surgery is performed in an operating theater. It lasts around 30 minutes for meniscal injuries or for diagnostic exploration, and up to 2 hours for a ligament injury.