COMPLICATIONS OF KNEE ARTHROSCOPY

Deep Venous Thrombosis (DVT)

All major lower limb and pelvic surgery carries the risk of thrombosis.

A thrombosis is a clot within the deep veins of the calf, thigh or pelvis of the patient.

Modern day knee arthroscopy is undertaken increasingly as a day case procedure meaning that the patient attends for surgery and is discharged the same day.

The rapid return to walking following such surgery reduces the rate of DVT however it cannot be removed.

Infection

The risk of infection with arthroscopy is low. 

It can be divided into superficial infection around the portal scars and deep infection. 

The rate of both is extremely low.



Scar sensitivity

The process of arthroscopy utilises usually three portals into the knee. 

Occasionally these remain sensitive after they have healed particularly in individuals involved in kneeling professions. 

In some cases there may be swelling around the scars which will take several months to settle.



Haemarthrosis and Bleeding

Patients may experience bleeding from the portals but this is not common.

In cases were extensive soft tissue surgery has been undertaken within the knee, particularly lateral release, then blood may collect within the knee. 

This is known as a haemarthrosis.

In the majority of cases this will resolve on its own but rarely will require further surgical drainage.