Authors of section


Florian Gebhard, Phil Kregor, Chris Oliver, Markku T Nousiainen

Executive Editor

Chris Colton, Richard Buckley

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Arthroscopic approach to the knee

1. Principles

The arthroscopic approach is only recommended in minimally, or nondisplaced, fractures in young patients. Advanced experience in arthroscopic surgery is essential.

2. Anterolateral port

Identify the lateral soft spot adjacent to the patellar tendon.

Anterolateral port location

Make a 5 mm stab incision and insert the arthroscopic shaft carefully, so as not to damage the intraarticular cartilage surface.

Next, remove the trocar and insert the arthroscope.

Irrigate the knee joint cavity until clear visibility is achieved.

Continuous positive pressure pump irrigation is essential, in order to prevent continuous bleeding, maintaining a pressure of 50-60 mmHg. High flow rates are required and adrenaline may be added to the saline for vasoconstriction.

The arthroscopic approach always requires that a full intraarticular examination of the knee joint is done, in order to avoid missing meniscal tears and ligament injuries, as well as osteochondral flake fractures.

Anterolateral port preparation

3. Anteromedial port

Identify the medial soft spot adjacent to the patellar tendon and palpate under arthroscopic control.

Anteromedial port location

Make a 5 mm stab incision and insert the arthroscopic hook.

Stab incision

4. Wound closure

Close the skin incisions with sutures in a routine manner.

Wound closure
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