There are very many conditions of the knee which can be treated by arthroscopic surgery. It is undertaken to deal with mechanical problems in the knee joint.
The problems in the knee suitable for arthroscopic treatment are legion and too numerous to list here. Most problems are suitable for arthroscopic surgery that do not involve severe arthritis or knee replacement.
Arthroscopy is performed as a day only procedure. It is done through two or occasionally more puncture wounds on the front of the knee. A telescope with attached camera is introduced through one portal and the surgical instruments through the other wound. The meniscus is repaired, the ligament reconstructed or the loose body removed. Before removal of the instruments a dose of local anaesthetic and Morphine is instilled into the joint for pain control.
You will be able to walk on the leg immediately after the surgery and go home on the day. A prescription for strong pain medication will be given to you and it advisable to have it filled on the day but many patients are comfortable enough not even to require more than a Panadol or two. You can reduce the woolly dressing on the following day and cover the wounds with band-aids. Quads exercises can commence immediately. Normally physiotherapy will start when your wounds have settled if you require this extra assistance. You can walk, and drive by the next day if you feel comfortable enough.
As this is a minimally invasive procedure the risks are reasonably small but do exist. You may develop a blood clot or even an infection in the joint. These problems are exceedingly rare.
By the time the decision is made to proceed to surgery, you will have tried many non-operative treatments such as injections, physiotherapy and chiropractic and to be considered for an operation, none of these modalities will have been effective. Essentially this is a mechanical problem in your knee so the only real treatment is to deal with the specific problem directly.