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What is Laparoscopic Knee Surgery and When is it Used?

Written by Knees and Hips on December 22, 2013

Laparoscopic knee surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that offers the doctor or surgeon the opportunity to repair or remove damaged tissues and ligaments in the knee. Laparoscopic knee surgery is also used to diagnose knee problems, such as a torn meniscus or ligament, muscle damage and more. This diagnosis can help to properly treat each patient.

A laparoscopy uses a very long, thin tube which is attached to a very small camera. The surgeon can view what is going on inside the body and see where the damage in the knee or other body part has occurred without having to cut the patient open. This allows the doctor to diagnose and treat, while using a small incision that is usually one to two centimeters in length only. Although these do not eliminate the need for more complex surgeries, by using a single port of entry into the body and using a small tube to perform a number of functions, this is an incredible advancement for patients everywhere.

Laparoscopic surgery is the least invasive and safest knee surgery for the patient. The reason for this is that a laparoscope offers the surgeon an in-depth look into the patient’s body, without having to cut it wide open. Whether being used for a knee surgery, appendectomy, cyst removal or anything else, this is an excellent opportunity for the patient to receive the treatment needed, while minimizing their hospital stay.

By using laparoscopes, doctors can eliminate large incisions, which can cause extensive tissue damage and subsequent pain for the patient. This can lead to additional pain medications being necessary, as well as an increased risk of infection and other complications associated with such a large and unwieldy incision.

For knee surgeries, these cameras can identify and treat torn meniscal tissue, torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), micro fractures and lesions in the cartilage and more. Although laparoscopes are most often used in knee surgeries to help diagnose or confirm complications or injuries, knowing in advance before cutting the patient open is without a doubt highly beneficial to both patient and surgeon. This type of joint surgery is called arthroscopy, where small surgical instruments can be easily attached to the end of the laparoscope. The knee is injected with a large amount of saline solution to allow greater access.

Because there are no major organs in the knee, surgeons can more quickly and easily repair a variety of knee injuries by using this small instrument. This is especially important, because having one knee problem will often lead to additional knee issues and surgeries. Having minimal scarring and trauma to the knee for repairs via laparoscopic surgery often improves overall outcomes of knee surgeries versus traditional surgery, as well as offering faster healing times, less pain, minimal scarring and reduced incidence of infection. This is an innovative and effective surgery for everyone that suffers from knee trauma, enhancing everyday life.