What are the Risks of Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Arthroscopic knee surgery risks – Arthroscopic knee surgery is very safe, and serious complications are uncommon.
Serious wound infection occurs in less than 1% of patients.
As with any major surgery, there are potential risks involved. The decision to proceed with the surgery is made because the advantages of surgery outweigh the potential disadvantages.
It is important that you are informed of these risks before the surgery takes place. Complications can be medical (general) or local complications specific to the knee. Medical complications include those of the anaesthetic and your general well being. Almost any medical condition can occur so this list is not complete.
Complications that may include:
- Allergic reactions to medications
- Blood loss requiring transfusion – Low risk of disease transmission
- Heart attacks, strokes, kidney failure, pneumonia and bladder infections
- Complications such as infection or nerve damage
- Serious medical problems can lead to ongoing health concerns, prolonged hospitalisation or rarely death
Risk of Infection – Infection can occur with any operation. In the hip this can be superficial or deep. Infection rates are approximately 1 percent. If it occurs, it can be treated with antibiotics but may require further surgery. Very rarely your hip may need to be removed to eradicate the infection.
Blood Clots (Deep Venous Thrombosis) – These may travel to the lung (Pulmonary embolism) and can occasionally be serious and even life threatening. If you get pain or shortness of breath at any stage, you should notify your surgeon.
Fractures or Breaks in the Bone – Fractures or breaks can occur during surgery or afterwards if you fall. To repair these, you may require surgery.
Wound Irritation or Breakdown – The operation may cut some skin nerves, so you will inevitably have some numbness and potential aching around the wound. This will not affect the function of your knee. Vitamin E cream and massaging can help reduce this. Occasionally, you can get reactions to the sutures or a wound breakdown that may require antibiotics or rarely, further surgery.
Damage to Nerves and Blood Vessels – Rarely these can be damaged at the time of surgery. If recognised they are repaired but a second operation may be required. Nerve damage can cause a loss of feeling or movement and can be permanent.
Pain relief – You will be given pain relief during your stay and either medication or prescriptions to go home with to keep you comfortable. Paracetamol and an anti-inflammatory (if tolerated) are the mainstays for pain relief.
Discuss your concerns thoroughly with Dr Taheri prior to surgery.