The knee joint is the largest joint in the human body. It is a very complex joint with its highly specialised components, and is very susceptible to injury, which can be corrected with arthroscopic knee surgery. The most common causes of injury are accidents and degenerative damage (e.g. arthritis). The most common injury is damage to the medial meniscus. The centers for joint replacement in Germany have already achieved excellent results in this minimally-invasive procedure. We specialise in these types of injuries at Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany.
A method of repairing damage to this very important joint, without having to cut it open, was always the goal of orthopaedic surgeons, but this wish was only fully realised in the nineties. Today, modern orthopaedic medicine cannot do without arthroscopic knee surgery, which involves more than just looking at the joint – in arthroscopic surgery the surgeon can examine the joint and repair any damage at the same time in a minimally invasive procedure. At our clinic in Germany, we have the latest equipment and use the latest techniques. The arthroscopic surgery can in many cases avoid or postpone the knee replacement surgery.
This method involves both the endoscopic examination and surgery. In the case of arthroscopic knee surgery, an arthroscope is inserted through a small incision (approx. 8mm) and the inside of the joint is displayed on a monitor. The joint is filled with a special fluid, in order to better transmit the images. Via a second incision of the same size, surgical micro-instruments are inserted and used to correct or reduce the problem. We specialise in this type of surgery at the Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany.
Prerequisites for successful arthroscopic knee surgery are a thorough diagnosis and clear indications. Therefore, careful clinical examination and medical imaging (X-ray, MRI) are required. The diagnosis is largely based on the medical history of the patient and the clinical examination of the affected joint. This type of operation is performed thousands of times annually in Germany.
Arthroscopic knee surgery is performed under general or epidural anaesthesia. The blood supply to the leg in question is interrupted so that the surgeon can see better during the procedure. The arthroscope is inserted via a small incision on the front of the joint and the surgical micro-instruments are inserted through another incision. In rare cases, additional incisions are required. The orthopaedic surgeons at our clinic in Germany are highly skilled in this procedure.
The advantage of arthroscopic knee surgery is that the incisions are very small, thereby sparing the articular capsule and the surrounding soft tissue. Compared with the alternative method of arthrotomy, which involves opening the joint completely, the infection risk and the likelihood of vascular and nerve damage are low. Arthroscopic knee surgery heals faster, making rehabilitation easier and produces less scarring.
Arthroscopy allows an experienced surgeon to see and assess any damage to the joint and to apply the optimal treatment with a high degree of precision, thanks to the magnifying properties of the arthroscope. Our orthopaedic surgeons at the Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany specialise in this method.
The advantage of arthroscopy as opposed to operations that require large incisions is that no healthy structures are damaged in order to get to the area that requires arthroscopic knee surgery. This means less pain for the patient and the joint recovers faster and can bear weight much sooner after the operation. Minor procedures such as meniscus operations can sometimes be performed on an out-patient basis at the Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany. Larger procedures such as ligament operations require only a short stay of 2 to 3 days in the clinic.
Generally, the usual surgical risks such as infection, bleeding, nerve damage, stiffening of joints, thrombosis, etc. are much lower with arthroscopic knee surgery than with open procedures. Such a procedure as arthroscopic knee surgery costs about €6.000 - €8.000 and allows in many cases avoiding or postponing knee replacement and other severe surgeries.
One common use of arthroscopy is in the treatment of lateral or medial meniscus tears. In the normal case the meniscus provides stability to the meniscus. Some injuries may result in meniscus tear, which causes swelling and severe pain in the knee. Knee arthroscopy is often performed to remove the damaged portions of the meniscus. When you arrive at the hospital for meniscus arthroscopy you may be given some sedative medicaments to get you relaxed and to reveal pain. The procedure is performed under spinal or local anesthesia. An arthroscopic knee surgery usually lasts between 45 and 55 minutes. Your surgeon will get access to your knee joint by using special instruments called trocars. There are usually made 2 or 3 small openings. A special solution is injected into the joint to keep the surfaces apart and to provide better visualization. Next, your surgeon will insert the microscope and other instruments through the various ports. The knee structures are magnified and projected onto the video monitor. Your surgeon will carefully examine the inner part of your knee joint, locate the damage, remove any loose or severy injured parts and use a shaving instrument to smooth any shabby edges during the arthroscopic knee injuries.
In most cases it is possible to repair the meniscus with small stitches and to remove the damaged portion within the same procedure of arthroscopic knee surgery. After the arthroscopic knee surgery you will be taken to the recovery area and be given pain medication as needed. Some patients can leave the surgery unit already within the few hours.
Minimally invasive procedures such as arthroscopic knee surgery are also dependent on adequate post-operative treatment for a successful long-term outcome. This is decided in advance, in a discussion between the physician and the patient.
In most cases, the knee is examined one day after arthroscopic knee surgery and again a week later.
It might be necessary for the patient to use crutches for a while in order not to put any weight on the joint. The need and duration of this measure depend on the exact nature of the procedure. The patient will therefore receive instructions from the treating physician at the Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany with regard to this matter.
Our clinic for trauma medicine and arthroscopic surgery at the Friedrichshafen Clinic in Germany offers the full range of minimally invasive techniques. We strive to help patients as quickly as possible, using the latest methods available, so that they can regain their mobility. Thanks to innovative, new surgical methods, optimal treatment and faster rehabilitation is available, even in the case of complex joint injuries.