Huw David

Knee Arthroscopy (keyhole surgery)

Knee arthroscopy (often referred to as keyhole knee surgery) has become a very common procedure. First popularised in North America nearly 40 years ago, knee arthroscopy only became an established procedure in Britain during the 1980’s. Today, the majority of knee injuries other than joint replacement surgery will be performed using arthroscopic techniques, often on a day case basis.

Huw David has performed hundreds of knee arthroscopies since he commenced his orthopaedic training more than 25 years ago. He is also skilled in arthroscopic surgery of other joints and introduced arthroscopic shoulder, elbow and wrist surgery to Plymouth Hospitals.

An arthroscopy involves making two, occasionally three, small incisions in the skin over the front of the knee. The arthroscope is smaller in size than a pencil and is connected by means of a camera to a high definition television monitor. The arthroscope or “telescope” is passed through one of the openings into the joint and instruments to assess the joint, such as a probe, or to undertake treatment, such as arthroscopic scissors, nibblers or shavers can be introduced through the other. The wounds are usually so small that they can be sealed with just butterfly or paper stitches.

Surgery performed under a regional or spinal anaesthetic in which the whole leg is numbed or alternatively under just local anaesthetic are popular in some parts of the world. In Britain, the majority of operations are performed under general anaesthesia. With modern anaesthetic techniques, patients will usually feel well enough to leave hospital within a couple of hours of the procedure.