Knee Arthroscopy

Anatomy of the Knee

The knee is the biggest hinge joint in the body. It is responsible for weight-bearing, balance, and movement.

It is composed of ligaments, soft tissues, and three major bones, including the lower end of the femur (thigh bone), the upper end of the tibia (shin bone), and the patella (kneecap).

In addition to these structures, the knee joint is composed of the following:

  • Articular Cartilage – This is a smooth, white tissue that lines the bones in the knee joint and serves as a cushion to prevent them from rubbing against each other.
  • Meniscus – This is a C-shaped piece of cartilage that acts as a shock absorber between the femur and tibia of the knee joint and stabilises the joint.
  • Synovium – This is a thin layer of tissue lining the inside of the knee joint that releases synovial fluid, which lubricates the cartilage to reduce friction during movement.
  • Ligaments – These are strong bands of tissues that connect bones, typically providing support to maintain stability and hold structures together within the knee.

The knee joint is susceptible to various injuries, such as sprains, fractures, and dislocations, which can affect mobility and quality of life. Fortunately, severe injuries can be addressed with surgical intervention, such as knee arthroscopy, to help correct knee problems and restore function.

What Is Knee Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure used to diagnose and treat knee problems. The ACL surgeon inserts a thin, flexible instrument called an arthroscope and may also insert small surgical tools through small incisions. The arthroscope has a tiny camera that transmits images of the inside of your knee joint onto a monitor. This allows the surgeon to visualise the inside of the joint, investigate the source of pain or problem, and perform necessary repairs.

Typically, knee arthroscopy is recommended for individuals experiencing persistent knee pain, swelling, or instability that has not responded to conservative treatments, such as medications or physiotherapy.

The cost of knee arthroscopy in Singapore varies greatly depending on several factors. This includes the doctor's fee, hospital charges (public vs private), the condition being treated, anaesthesia, and the patient's own insurance coverage. Please call us at 8028 4572 for more details and a personalised estimate.

What Conditions Can Knee Arthroscopy Treat?

Knee arthroscopy is used to diagnose and treat various knee conditions, including:

  • ACL Tear/Injury – This refers to a partial or complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) caused by sudden twisting of the knee, direct impact, or abrupt changes in direction during activities.
  • Torn Meniscus – This injury occurs when the knee is forcefully twisted or rotated while bearing weight, usually during sports or heavy lifting.
  • Swollen Synovium (Synovitis) – This condition results from structural damage within the knee joint, such as in the articular cartilage, or from an autoimmune disease, such as rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Bone Fragments – These are small pieces of cartilage or bone detached from the knee joint due to trauma, fractures, osteoarthritis, or other degenerative joint conditions.
  • Patella Misalignment – This occurs when the kneecap (patella) fails to move properly within its groove at the end of the thigh bone (femur) during knee flexion and extension.
  • Baker’s Cyst – Also known as a popliteal cyst, this condition is characterised by the buildup of a fluid-filled lump at the back of the knee due to an underlying condition such as arthritis or cartilage tear.

What Are the Benefits of Knee Arthroscopy?

Knee arthroscopy offers several benefits over traditional open surgery (arthrotomy), including:

  • Smaller Incisions - Knee arthroscopy involves making two to three small incisions (usually the size of a buttonhole) either on the front or side of the kneecap, resulting in less trauma to the connective tissue and reduced postoperative pain.
  • Rapid Recovery - The minimally invasive nature of arthroscopic knee surgery ensures a shorter recovery time, allowing patients to resume work and light activities within a few weeks after the procedure.
  • Reduced Scarring - The small incisions made during knee arthroscopy result in minimal scarring and stiffness as the knee heals.
  • Lower Infection Risk - In knee arthroscopy, the risk of infection at the surgical site is significantly low due to smaller incisions and reduced tissue damage.

Return to the joys of an active lifestyle. Our knee specialist offers comprehensive diagnosis and minimally invasive treatments like knee arthroscopy.

How to Prepare for Knee Arthroscopy

Before the procedure, the doctor will provide detailed instructions on how to prepare for knee arthroscopy. These guidelines may involve:

  • Stopping certain medications, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements, which may affect surgical outcomes
  • Fasting for up to 12 hours before surgery, as instructed by the doctor
  • Arranging for transportation to and from the hospital or ACL clinic, as anaesthesia may impair driving
  • Discussing any potential allergies or adverse reactions to anaesthesia or medications

Additionally, the doctor may order pre-operative tests, such as blood tests or an electrocardiogram (ECG), to evaluate the patient’s overall health and readiness for the surgical procedure.

What Happens During Knee Arthroscopy?

During knee arthroscopy, the patient is placed under general, regional, or local anaesthesia before the surgeon makes small incisions around the knee joint. Then, an arthroscope is inserted to relay real-time images to a monitor, enabling the surgeon to inspect the knee’s interior in detail and identify any damage or issues within the joint.

Based on the findings, the surgeon may correct or repair damaged cartilage, extract loose fragments, reconstruct ligaments, or trim inflamed synovial tissue using specialised instruments. The incisions are then closed, and a sterile dressing is applied to the knee. The procedure usually lasts between 30 minutes to an hour, depending on the severity of the damage and the treatment required.

What Is Recovery Like After Knee Arthroscopy?

Generally, it may take about six to eight weeks to fully recover from a knee arthroscopy. However, this timeline can vary from individual to individual based on the extent of the procedure and individual factors.

The doctor can provide general guidelines to support recovery, such as:

  • Rest and Elevation - Adequate rest and elevating the leg for several days can reduce swelling and fluid accumulation in the knee joint.
  • Physiotherapy - The therapist will provide a tailored exercise programme to help restore knee strength, flexibility, and range of motion.
  • Walking Aids - The doctor may advise the patient to use braces or crutches to alleviate stress on the knee joint and ease mobility.
  • Pain Management - The doctor may prescribe pain medications, such as NSAIDs, to control postoperative pain. It is crucial to promptly report any excessive pain or unusual symptoms.
  • Gradual Return to Activities - The doctor will give specific instructions on when to gradually return to activities, such as walking, driving, or sports.
  • Follow-up Appointments - Regular follow-up visits with the doctor are crucial to monitor recovery progress and address any concerns or complications.

Are There Any Risks or Complications?

Knee arthroscopy is generally a safe procedure, but like any surgical operation, it carries a small risk of complications, which can easily be managed with prompt intervention. Some potential postoperative issues include:

  • Bleeding and blood clots
  • Infection
  • Anaesthesia complications
  • Knee stiffness
  • Bruising or swelling

If you are dealing with knee problems, do not hesitate to seek medical help. Knee arthroscopy can help diagnose and treat several conditions affecting the knee joint. Contact us today to book a consultation with our orthopaedic surgeon.

To find out more about ACL surgery in Singapore, make an appointment with our specialist at 8028 4572 or message us here.

Get back to doing your favourite sports.

Our goal is to relieve any pain and help you improve your quality of life. For more assistance, please call +65 8028 4572 or leave us a message

Quantum Orthopaedics

Camden Medical

1 Orchard Boulevard, #09-06Singapore 248649

Mount Alvernia Hospital

820 Thomson RoadMedical Centre D #05-60Singapore 574623

Contact Information

Tel : 8028 4572

Mobile : 8028 4572

Whatsapp : 8028 4572

Email :

Operating Hours

Monday-Friday : 8:30am - 5:30pm

Saturday : 8:30am - 12:30pm

Sunday & Public Holiday : Closed