Many knee injuries cannot be repaired without a surgical intervention, and when these knee lesions remain untreated, they do not cause solely knee pain, but rather they might provoke further damage to the knee bones, carthilage and meniscus, as to the muscles and tendons.

Unlike “open” surgeries, in which a relatively long incision is made in the skin, that inflicts a significant lesion to the knee tissues and their surroundings, knee arthroscopy constitute a minimally invasive intervention, and is designated for the examination and the treatment of the damaged knee joint.

Typically, following the anesthetic procedure, Dr. Suzanna Horovitz performs a minuscule cut in the skin of a few milimeter long. Into this tiny incision, a fiber-optic camera of a size of a straw is inserted into the lesioned area. This small camera is made of minuscule lens and of lighting system, based on optic fibers, that illuminate and enlarge the display of the lesioned area within the knee joint. The received image is enlarged, transmitted and projected on a TV screen, allowing Dr. Suzanna Horovitz to review through the screen the picture of the entire lesioned knee, and to diagnose and view the fine details of the knee lesion, from which the patient suffers.

At this stage, an additional similar minuscule cut is made in the skin, through which delicate surgical tools are inserted into the lesioned knee, with which the lesions in the knee are treated, using concomitantly the projected images on the TV screen.

There is no need of an “Open” knee surgery, the surgery is usually performed without any additional incisions, and with minimal involvement and trauma to the tissue inside or around the knee.

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Characteristic situations of the knee, that are diagnosed and treated during knee arthroscopy include:

  • A meniscal tear, which can be diagnosed and treated during the knee arthroscopy. In cases of a fresh meniscal tear, it may be possible to suture back the tear to its original site, in order to reinstate the conditions of the knee before the tear.
  • Arthritis of the knee joint, that goes untreated, as in the case of infectious or autoimmune arthritis, may cause a significant damage to the knee joint and cartilage.
  • An untreated targeted trauma to the cartilage of the knee can provoke a degenerative premature erosion of the knee.
  • A tear of the cruciate ligament of the knee.

A knee arthroscopy is done in a day hospital, and following the recovery from the anesthesia, it is allowed and even encouraged to use the operated knee, and the patient returns after several hours back home.

It is advised to cleanse the body with an Anti-Septic soap in the eve of the operation and in the day of the arthroscopy, and in the hospital on the day of the operation the knee is shaved before the intervention.

Two days later the bandages should be removed, and the patient may wash his operated knee in the shower fully with soap and water, and there is no longer need for an additional local bandage. The patient receives anti-inflammatory medications without cortisone for the first post-op days, in order to alleviate the pain and to expedite the recovery and the reduction of the knee swelling.

After surgery it is usually advised to the patient to commence a full weight bearing on the operated knee, whilst exercising regular load on the leg already on the day of the intervention, without crouches. It is also advisable to the patient to begin to self-activate the knee to the maximum range of motion without restrictions.

Usually following a recovery period, that does not exceed a few days, the patient returns to an active life, whilst at the same time Dr. Suzanna Horovitz conducts medical surveillance and examination, that includes in some cases a rehabilitation program, that is specifically tailored to the nature of the lesion and the patient.

Self-exercise of the patient includes movements to fully extend and flex the knee, voluntarily with initiation. The return to an active life is not solely the goal of any patient, that undergoes a surgery, this sort of minimally invasive intervention is also an important part of the post-op treatment.

Maintenance of these guide-lines will not just allow the patient the return to an active life within a short period of time, but it is also important for the athletes amongst us to return to a full physical activity as soon as possible.

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