Knee Arthroscopy India package: $ 3,200 ~ $ 4,500
Wockhardt Hospital [affiliated to Harvard Medical & accredited by JCI]
Apollo Hospital [collaboration with John Hopkins, USA, & accredited by JCI. Largest hospital group in Aisa]
Knee Arthroscopy Mexico package: $ 4,930 ~ $ 6,880
Hospital Angeles, Tijuana [state-of-the-art technology & world-class specialists]
Hospital Star Medica or Hospital Angeles, Ciudad Juarez [ultra-modern hospitals]
Knee Arthroscopy Costa Rica package: $ 2,800
Hospital Clinica Biblica [JCI-accredited and affiliated with the Ochsner Medical Institute & Tulane University School of Medicine, USA]
Knee arthroscopy is a keyhole or minimally invasive operation performed to look inside the knee joint and repair it to alleviate knee pain or other related problems. Knee arthroscopy is also done to diagnose problems like arthritis and inflammation and to take small tissue samples (biopsies) which help to diagnose infections.
The knee is the largest joint in the body and also one of the most vulnerable. The femur, the tibia, and the patella are joined together at the knee. The surfaces where the femur, tibia, and patella touch are covered with articular cartilage. Articular cartilage cushions the bones and helps them move smoothly. The tough fibrous cartilage tissue, called the lateral and medial menisci, absorb shock and stabilize the knee.
Knee Arthroscopy – Procedure Overview
Knee arthroscopy is usually done under general anaesthesia, but sometimes local anaesthesia may be used. Three small incisions are made in the skin on the knee: a narrow arthroscope (camera attached to a surgical instrument) is inserted through one incision, and sterile fluid is pumped into the knee through the second incision. This fluid increases the visibility inside the joint.
Through images from the arthroscope (viewed on a monitor), the orthopedic surgeon will check the state of the knee and decide if repair is required and what kind of repair is required. Surgical instruments to perform the repair are inserted through the third incision and the repair done.
The fluid is then drained out and the incisions are closed with steristrips and the area is bandaged. The procedure will be over in 30-60 minutes, depending on the extent of repair inside the joint.
Preparing for Knee Arthroscopy
Knee arthroscopy is generally done on an outpatient basis, that is, hospital stay is not required. Below is a list of some precautions to be taken or what to expect before knee arthroscopy:
- Before surgery, you will have to go through a complete physical examination to assess your general health and to make sure if you are fit enough to go through the surgery. Blood tests and X-rays are done a week before any major surgery.
- Make a list of all the medications you are taking and give it to your doctor. He/She will advise you on which ones can be continued and which need to be stopped until the surgery.
- If you will need blood transfusion, you could donate your own blood prior to surgery.
- If you are overweight, try to lose weight as it will decrease the stress on your joint. However, please consult your doctor on weight loss methods.
- Aspirin or anti-inflammatory medications need to be stopped before surgery as they increase the risk of bleeding.
- If you are a smoker, it’s better to either quit or cut down drastically. Smoking increases surgery risks and delays recovery.
- Tooth decay or infection in any other part of the body must be treated before surgery.
- If you contract any infection, report it to your surgeon. Surgery cannot be performed until all infections have cleared up.
- Arrange for someone to help out with tasks like cooking, shopping, and laundry.
- Also, ask someone to drive you home from the hospital, as the effect of the anaesthesia will take some time to completely go away.
- Put frequently used things within easy reach, so that after surgery you won’t have to stretch or bend often.
- Don’t have loose carpets around and tape down electrical cords to avoid falls.
- Get a stable armchair with a firm seat cushion, a firm back.
Knee Arthroscopy – Aftercare
Though knee arthroscopy is usually done on an outpatient basis, at home you will need to rest your knee and take some precautions as advised by your doctor. Some aftercare tips are given below:
- Your knee may feel stiff and sore. You will be given a crutch to use for the first few days, though it may not be strictly necessary.
- Keep the surgery area clean and dry for about a week. When showering, use waterproof plasters over the wounds and avoid taking a bath until the cuts are fully healed.
- Do the exercises recommended by your physiotherapist, as they will help in improving knee movement and strength.
- Try to keep your leg raised up on a chair or footstool when you are sitting. This will help reduce swelling.
- Don’t drive until you can do an emergency stop without discomfort.
Risks and Complications of Knee Arthroscopy
Knee arthroscopy is generally a safe surgical procedure. For most patients, the benefits of knee arthroscopy are greater than the disadvantages. However, all surgery has risks. Below are some possible side-effects and complications of knee arthroscopy:
- Infection or an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic.
- Accidental damage to the inside of the joint or a loss of feeling in the skin over the knee.
- Deep vein thrombosis.
Benefits of Knee Arthroscopy
As knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery, the incisions are small. Hence, it is less painful, has lesser chances of infection, and makes for faster recovery.
Alternatives to Knee Arthroscopy
Knee arthroscopy is not, obviously, the only way to treat or diagnose knee problems. Non-surgical methods like MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be used to diagnose knee problems. Surgery for knee pain is the last resort after conventional non-surgical methods like medication and physiotherapy have been used.
Knee Arthroscopy Abroad
In the US, knee arthroscopy can cost up to $20,000. Some health plans do not cover the plan deeming knee surgery to be an elective procedure unless in the case of an accident, while some cover it partially. This makes knee surgery an expensive affair even for the insured, not to talk about un-insured people.
Mexico, Costa Rica and India offer knee arthroscopy at a very low cost, while keeping the quality of medical care the same as that available in the US. Hence, they are popular choices of US citizens for knee surgery.
Orthopedic surgeons in Mexico, Costa Rica, and India have immense experience as the sheer number of cases they deal with is huge. They are board-certified and are fluent in English. The tourist hospitals in the medical tourism destinations are JCI-accredited, thus ensuring high rates of success and patient satisfaction.
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