Knee Arthroscopy

What Complications May Occur During And After Knee Arthroscopy?

Updated on January 26, 2017      Admin

Serious complications after knee arthroscopy are rare, and the benefits of the procedure generally outweigh the risks. However, complications can occur during and after the operation.

The following complications are possible:

Bleeding into the knee joint is common after arthroscopic surgery. It depends on the type and location of the procedures performed during the operation. It is treated by elevation of the extremity and application of ice to the knee. In case of major swelling and accumulation of blood within the joint, this is removed by aspiration.


After Knee Arthroscopy

When the arthroscopic camera and instruments are inserted into the joint then small cutaneous nerve branches can be damaged, resulting in transient or rare permanent partial or complete loss of tactile sensation about the puncture site.

Postoperative bacterial infection is an extremely rare complication in arthroscopic surgery, but its consequences can be serious. Fever, chills, soft-tissue oedema, redness of the skin about the joint, an increase in pain or an unpleasant discharge from the surgical wounds are signs of possible infection within the joint after the procedure. A knee infection following arthroscopic surgery is treated with antibiotics once the causative agent has been identified and its antimicrobial susceptibility tested. Repeated arthroscopic cleansing of the joint is often required. Since the treatment must start as soon as possible, patient should return for a follow-up examination immediately if an infection in the operated area is suspected. Patient must not receive any antibiotics before patient are seen by one of the consultant surgeons.

Arthroscopic knee surgery slightly increases the risk of blood clot formation (venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism). The risk is minimal but may be significant if the patient has concomitant internal or oncological disease, excessive body weight, is on medication that augments this risk or has experienced similar complications in the past. In such cases medical thromboprophylaxis /anticoagulant therapy is prescribed.  Stiffness in the knee after an arthroscopic procedure may be a consequence of contractures of muscles, tendons or the joint capsule and usually develops due to failure to observe instructions for rehabilitation.  All complications connected with local anaesthesia (allergic reaction) or spinal anaesthesia (headache, lumbar nerve root damage, inflammation at the puncture site) is also possible during an arthroscopic procedure, but are generally rare and transient.

After Knee Arthroscopy

Muscle and tendon pain can develop during your rehabilitation if this is too fast or too aggressive. The symptoms are transient.

Are There Any Alternatives To Surgery?

If patient has decide not to have an operation, patient can expect the pain and restricted mobility to grow worse with time, leading to progressive loss of function in their knee and increasing difficulty with activities.

Are There Any Alternatives To Surgery?

The operation is intended to raise patient’s quality of life, but it will not improve the status of patient’s general health.

Patient decision against it can have no life-threatening consequences.

How a Knee Arthroscopy works:

Most of the knee replacement surgeries are successful if the patients take care of him. Most people experience a great comfort and a huge recovery after this surgery. The improvements are drastic and pain almost vanishes away from the body.

People are asked to be careful about stand position and movement with the help of joint just after the surgery to the next 3-4 days. They can need support with stick during walking and start a new painless chapter in their lives.

Physiotherapy is helpful to provide the strengths in the body’s muscles, so this is certainly recommended. After about 6 weeks, most of the patients are truly happy with the results.


Knee arthroscopy offers patients a minimally invasive solution to various knee issues. With proper post-operative care, physical therapy, and realistic expectations, individuals can regain optimal knee function. Remember, open communication with your healthcare provider is key to a smooth recovery journey.

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