Knee Arthroscopy
From Prof. Dr. Murat Bezer

Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a surgical operation used against injuries regarding meniscus tears in the knee joint, anterior cruciate ligament, joint cartilage, inflammatory joint, synovitis (inflammation of synovial membrane), knee joint arthritis and joint fractures.

Meniscus tears can cause corrosion on the cartilage and arthritis in advanced stage. In meniscus tears, patients that continue to complain about pains even though they receive medication are treated with arthroscopic methods. Patients who complain about recurrent locking in the knee and off-balanced steps are also treated with arthroscopic methods. Postoperative rehabilitation is an important part of the treatment.

Patients can return to their homes right after meniscus surgery. They become able to walk and climb stairs almost 2 hours after the operation without support. They can return to their normal lives after 7 days of ice treatment and home rest. They can start to run after 3 weeks and do sports after the end of 1st month.

For patients with anterior cruciate ligament injury, the purpose is to remove the feelings of sliding in the knee or off-balanced steps, and to obtain a strong knee which the patient can safely lean on and do sports with. Another purpose is for active sportsmen and sportswomen to recuperate to the degree before the injury and to prevent any further damage to the knee.

In anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, tissues that surround the knee and look like anterior cruciate ligament are transplanted to where the ligament should be in the first place. These tissues are removed by 3-4 centimeter incisions. Then the remains of anterior cruciate ligament in the joint are cleaned by arthroscopic method. Two tunnels are reconstructed on the tibial and femoral bones. The tissues are placed inside these tunnels and fixed. The patients are generally asked to use knee braces after the operation.

Average postoperative stay period in the hospital is 1-3 days. It is possible to walk with crutches on the same day after surgery. The patient can start exercises on the next day with knee movements with an aim to bend his/her knee at 90 degrees. Crutches should be used for a few days after the surgery in order to ease the load on the knees. The objective is to regain the movement capacity like it was before the injury within 3 weeks.

Physical treatment and rehabilitation is vitally important after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction. The objective of these procedures is to increase the muscle strength and joint space.