Knee surgery is no longer the very intense and invasive surgery people used to have. In fact, there are at least three procedures you can choose from to have your knee repaired or replaced. If you are curious to know which procedure would work best for your own knee surgery, here are the different surgical procedures and how they are performed. 

Keyhole Surgery

This knee surgery is performed on the soft tissues of the knee, using a tiny scope to see inside and under the kneecap. Two or three tiny incisions are made on the side of the knee. Through these incisions, the scope and the cutting instruments are inserted. Most of the time, you do not need to be under general anesthesia as a local anesthetic is all that is really needed, although you can request an epidural/saddle block type of anesthesia if you are worried about feeling anything. When the repairs to the tissues and the kneecap or other bones in the knee are complete, you only need butterfly bandages to close the "keyhole" incisions. Most knee surgery specialists tell you that you can return to physical activity within a week or two, as tolerated. 

Partial Knee Surgery

Partial knee surgery uses a slightly larger incision in order to reach the kneecap and remove it. This is usually done when there is too much damage to the kneecap, and/or the bones are scraping and grating together. If the bones are starting to develop little spurs that could damage soft tissues and tendons, then partial knee surgery is recommended. Your kneecap is often replaced by a metal or plastic one that will be easier to float over the two ends of your leg bones behind the artificial kneecap. Stitches are required for the three- to four-inch incision, and you will need three to five weeks to recover before returning to your regular activities and activity level. 

Total Knee Surgery

Total knee surgery is a complete knee replacement with longer incisions and lots more stitches. This surgery is still performed, but it is reserved for the most extreme cases of damage to the knee joint and related leg bones. If the meniscus tendons are very badly torn, this might be the procedure your specialist recommends because a lot of internal stitches on these tendons are required. Several stitches will be required to seal the incision, and it may be months before you can return to your activities. 

To learn more, talk to your local knee surgeon