Knee arthroscopy is a great procedure to relieve knee pain. Most arthroscopies of the knee are done to treat cartilage injuries and other internal knee problems. The arthroscope is a small diameter instrument that is connected to a video screen for the surgeon to view the interior of the knee. Arthroscopy is performed by making a viewing portal for the arthroscope and at least one “working” portal. The working portal is for the surgeon to pass instruments through to treat the cartilage. Each portal is about ½ to ¼ inch long. Each portal has a purpose; one allows the surgeon to see, while through the other portal the surgeon does the “work”.
Although the portals are small they can be persistently painful following surgery. The pain does resolve over time, but the pain slows the recovery process. Additionally, the portals remain swollen and can make it difficult to kneel on the knee for an extended period of time.
Because of these factors I have now moved to single portal arthroscopy. With newer and specialized instruments I am now able to perform the same surgery with one incision rather than 2 or more. This breakthrough is made possible by using smaller working instruments that are angled to allow passage, along with a smaller diameter arthroscope, through the single ¼ inch portal. This cuts the incisional pain in half, speeding the recovery. Patients who previously had traditional knee arthroscopy on one knee comment to me on how much less pain they experience and how much faster the recovery is with the single portal surgery. I am able to perform this surgery at Lake Area Medical Center and Imperial Calcasieu Surgery Center because of our combined efforts to improve patient outcomes.