Knee Arthroscopy

A minimally invasive way to treat minor cartilage defects as well as meniscus damage and cruciate ligament tears

Small cuts, big effect

Arthroscopic treatment of the knee joint

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure for the surgical treatment of meniscus and cruciate ligament injuries. Instruments are inserted into the knee joint through small incisions in the skin. Tears of the menisci or cruciate ligaments can thus be treated gently. In the case of infections or inflammations, the knee joint can be cleaned and rinsed with antibiotics.

Knee arthroscopy, medically known as knee arthroscopy, is used to diagnose and treat diseases and injuries in the knee joint. This minimally invasive procedure is most frequently used for meniscus injuries and cruciate ligament injuries. However, knee arthroscopy is also used diagnostically and therapeutically for inflammations or infections of the knee.

What injuries and defects can be treated?

Meniscal tear

An injured meniscus is either sutured or partially removed. In the case of very extensive injuries to the meniscus, total removal may also be necessary. In this case, a meniscus replacement is inserted. Broken off cartilage or bone parts can also be removed arthroscopically.

Cruciate ligament rupture

Injured cruciate ligaments can also be sutured or replaced with knee arthroscopy. An injured anterior cruciate ligament is usually replaced with a tendon from the patient's own body. Parts of the patellar tendon or the quadriceps tendon are suitable for replacement. Sometimes a tendon from the other knee must be removed by arthroscopy for the ligament replacement.

Diseases of the synovium (synovial membrane)

Chronic inflammation of the joint capsule or synovium sometimes necessitates removal of the inflamed synovium. This procedure is called synovectomy and can also be performed during a knee arthroscopy.

Cartilage damage

With the newer methods of cartilage therapy, it is possible to treat cartilage damage to the knee joint by means of arthroscopy. In addition to the classic methods such as the so-called microfracturing, in which the bone in the area of the cartilage defect is "angled" so that a scar cartilage is formed, there are many modern methods. One method that has been performed at our center for years is cartilage cell transplantation, in which cartilage tissue that has been removed beforehand is cultured and can be returned to the defect in a second operation. In addition, there is the so-called AMIC (Autologous Matrix-Induced Chondrogenesis), in which the defect is covered with various cartilage-stimulating substances after microfracturing.

Meniscus tears are knee injuries that often occur during sports. However, they also occur with joint wear. Depending on the size and location of the tear, it can be sutured or partially resected. There is also the possibility of replacing a meniscus with a donor meniscus.

The cruciate ligaments (anterior and posterior cruciate ligaments) are among the most important stabilizers of the knee joint. A cruciate ligament tear is a very common sports injury and usually affects the anterior cruciate ligament. A tear usually occurs due to excessive force applied to the knee joint. There are various techniques to replace the cruciate ligament that allow a return to sports activity.

If there is cartilage damage in the hip joint, there are various procedures to rebuild it. However, these procedures only work if a joint space is still visible on the X-ray and the arthrosis is not too advanced.

ACI (Autologous Chondrocyte Implantation) is a procedure in which cartilage cells are removed from the patient's affected joint and then cultivated by a company. This then allows a cartilage defect to be rebuilt with the patient's own cartilage. In most cases, this procedure can be performed arthroscopically, i.e. minimally invasively using a keyhole technique. Two procedures are necessary for this technique of cartilage therapy, as in the first the cartilage cells are removed for cultivation and in the second they are reinserted.

Autologous matrix-induced chondrogenesis (AMIC) can be used to arthroscopically cover a cartilage defect with a special collagen matrix, which then leads to a build-up and sealing of the previous defect. Compared to ACT, only one operation is required for this technique.

In addition to the diseases already mentioned, there are a large number of pathologies that can also be treated arthroscopically.

  • loose joint bodies (can cause blockages and cartilage damage)
  • Chronic and active diseases of the synovium (synovitis, e.g. irritation, rheumatism)
  • benign tumors (chondromatoses, PVNS, etc.)

Meniscus treatment

Cartilage damage

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Phone +49-6221-983 190
Fax +49-6221-983 199

International Center for Orthopedics
ATOS Hospital Heidelberg
Bismarkstr. 9-15
69115 Heidelberg / Germany

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