Arthroscopic & Open Knee Surgery

What is knee surgery?

If you are suffering from knee pain or impaired mobility due to a knee condition, injury, or other knee-related problems, surgery may be an appropriate treatment option when nonsurgical treatment is ineffective. Knee surgery can be performed as traditional open surgery or as an arthroscopic procedure, also known as knee arthroscopy. Open surgery typically involves one complete, sometimes large, surgical incision that gives your doctor complete access to the desired procedure area. A knee arthroscopy involves a few small keyhole-sized incisions, versus one full incision, to allow your doctor to access certain areas of the procedure site.

The type of surgery that your doctor recommends will depend on your medical needs — some procedures may require full access to the surgical site, while other procedures may only require limited access to the surgical site.

Why is knee surgery needed?

If you are experiencing knee pain or other knee-related symptoms that are interfering with daily routines and activities, surgery may be recommended when conservative treatment is ineffective. Knee surgery can be used to help treat various types of knee-related injuries and conditions, including:

Knee procedures performed via surgery may include:

  • ACL reconstruction
  • Torn meniscus repair
  • Meniscus removal
  • Patellar treatment
  • Extraction of loose bone fragments or cartilage

What does knee surgery involve?

Knee surgery can be performed as one of two types of surgery — open surgery or arthroscopic surgery — each involving different approaches, pros, cons, recovery times, and results. Platelet-rich plasma therapy may also be recommended during surgery to help promote healing and enhance recovery time.

A knee arthroscopy involves your doctor making a limited number of small keyhole-sized incisions near the required area of operation. Your doctor will then gently introduce a thin medical device equipped with a light and camera into the appropriate incision holes. A TV monitor then displays images of the knee, allowing your doctor to view the surgical site on screen, assess your joint, and complete any required treatment.

Open surgery typically involves your doctor making one large, complete incision or multiple small incisions in order to view the full area of operation. Once the incisions are made, your doctor can directly view the site of surgery and complete the procedure.

After open knee surgery or arthroscopic knee surgery, you can expect to experience slight pain, tenderness, and swelling around the site of surgery. Depending on the type of surgery and surgical procedure, recovery time will vary. Complications after knee surgery may include infection, blood clots, and knee stiffness.

What are the benefits of knee surgery?

Knee surgery may be beneficial if you have a knee-related condition and have tried conservative treatment options but are still experiencing symptoms that are interfering with your daily activities. Knee surgery can help:

  •    Restore quality of life
  •    Improve mobility
  •    Alleviate pain

If you are experiencing knee pain or a decrease in knee mobility, a consultation with an orthopedic specialist may be the first step towards discovering a treatment and recovery plan that is right for you. Dr. Burrus is an experienced fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeon who is dedicated to providing high-quality, specialized holistic care. Call 512.477.6341 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.