Arthroscopy is a Keyhole surgery which is a minimally invasive surgical procedure that is used by surgeons to examine any form of joint in the body. Keyhole surgery is a safe and low risk procedure. The whole procedure is not much time taking and usually the surgeries are performed within a day. For the surgical procedure, two small incisions are made on either side of the affected area.

Through one of the punctured holes a surgical instrument is passed and through another hole an arthroscope is passed. (Arthroscope is a thin flexible tube with a light and a camera; an image is projected on the monitor so that the specialist doctor can see the clear image of the affected part).

It is a common procedure with a good success rate.Its used commonly for the diagnosis of knee ailments but it has been known to identify and treat the problem during the same procedure.


Keyhole Surgery is usually performed to diagnose and treat the variety of joint conditions. Most often,it’s done on the knee, hips, shoulders, ankle or wrist. Now, the question is why to perform this surgery ?

  • Severe joint pain.
  • Immediate swelling of the affected area after a trauma or fracture.
  • A torn ligament.
  • Popping sound followed by an injury.


After the detailed diagnosis of the patient’s condition, a suitable day will be chosen to perform the surgery. Patients history is carefully monitored before the surgery is performed. In case of diabetes or high blood pressure, one should make sure that the condition is well managed. Also if the patient is on blood thinning medication, it is usually advised to stop the same.

A detailed summary is narrated to the patient regarding the small incision procedure. Once the general checkup is over the patient is given spinal anesthesia.

Afterwards, the surgeon will make three small incisions in the skin depending on the area which is affected. An arthroscope will be passed through one of these incisions and a saline solution is passed through the other. The solution allows the inside of the joint to be clearly seen. Tools are passed through the third incision.

The type of arthroscopy you have will depend on your diagnosis and can involve removing or trimming any damaged tissue or cartilage.


In most cases, day to day activities are possible but it is advisable to limit any excessive activity for at least two weeks after the procedure. Painkillers, anti- inflammatory drugs are prescribed. It can take about a week for your wound to heal. After the period of two to six weeks, one can increase the intensity of physical activity solely depending on the recovery.

After two weeks, one can play low intensity sports such as swimming or cycling. Once fully recovered i.e after a minimum of six weeks one can go back to high impact sports. Everything and every situation depends on the fact that how fast the patient has recovered.


As with any major surgical procedure, there are certain potential risks and complications involved with Keyhole surgery but it is less than 1%. The possible complications after the surgery include:

  • Infection
  • A Blood Clot
  • Scarring
  • Swelling
  • Haemarthrosis

It is an intermediate surgery. It is often performed as a daycare procedure where the patients are discharged on the same day of the surgery. It is the most successful surgery in terms of treating the minor ailments.

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