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Knee Arthroscopy

Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure used to treat problems within the knee joint. These can include a torn meniscus (or menisci), articular cartilage surface damage (the lining of the joint surface that is made of collagen and proteoglycans), trimming of the fat pad or removal of prominent plicae (band of tissue within the knee).

It can also be combined with harvesting of ligaments (called autograft) or using ligaments from other sources (allograft) to reconstruct the anterior cruciate and other ligaments in and around the knee.

Woman holding her knee


Surgery is performed as a day case procedure, often under a general anaesthetic. Once you are asleep, Mr Asopa will normally make two small cuts on the front of the knee and then carry out the procedure using special instruments. The procedure takes between 15-30 minutes. Once you have recovered safely, you will be discharged from hospital. When a hamstring or patella tendon is harvested for ligament reconstruction, or other procedures are required, there will be further surgical wounds to the knee.


  • After surgery, you will be sent to recovery before going to the ward.
  • You will have dressing and a bandage on the knee after your operation.
  • You will experience some pain following surgery – please use the painkillers provided, even if there is little pain. This is to prevent pain worsening when pain killer medication wears off.
  • It is likely that you will be able to go home on the same day. Sometimes, you may need to stay in hospital for a night, for example if your surgery took place later in the day.
  • You will be given guidance and information before discharge from hospital.
  • Normal activities can be resumed by 6 weeks post-surgery.


As with any surgery, complications can occur. Risks include infection, blood clots (deep vein thrombosis and pulmonary embolism), on-going stiffness and failure to improve, and reaction to anaesthesia. It is also possible that you may require further surgery in the future.