Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy, or ‘keyhole’ surgery, is a well-established procedure and the preferred treatment for a variety of knee, shoulder and other orthopaedic conditions.

The surgery has restored the movement and confidence of thousands of patients, allowing them to get back to their daily activities faster, and with greater ease.

But what does the keyhole surgery entail, and who might benefit from the procedure?

Mr Rhidian Thomas, Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon at Parkside Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Centre, explains:

What is keyhole surgery?

An arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure which usually sees patients return home the same day of the operation. The knee joint is the most-commonly operated joint using this technique, followed by shoulder, ankle and hip. Smaller joints such as elbow and wrist are also increasingly being operated on in this way.

What type of injury can be treated?

Many knee injuries treated with keyhole surgery happen as a result of sports injuries, but not all. The most common injury treated by arthroscopy is the meniscus – the ‘shock absorber’ (which helps spread the load when an impact or force goes through the knee). In other joints, arthroscopy can also be used to rotator cuff injuries, articular cartilage problems, repair torn ligaments, and remove loose bodies.

What are the benefits?

There are a number of advantages of keyhole surgery. These include:

  • Minimally-invasive procedure
  • Precision surgery – only damaged areas operated on, compared to a larger part using the older open surgical technique. This leads to less risk of arthritis in the future
  • Little scarring, stiffness or pain
  • Lower risk of complications
  • Minimal waiting times at Parkside.

Is a full recovery guaranteed?

Recovery post-surgery will depend on your general health, the joint involved and the specific procedure you had. In the lower limb, crutches may be used to assist walking for a few days or weeks. Your rehabilitation specialist will guide you through the recovery process and advise you on what to expect.

About Rhidian Thomas


Mr Thomas is a Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon. His elective practice is in lower limb knee, shin, foot and ankle problems. He sub-specialises in arthritis of the knee and ankle, performing a variety of both joint replacement and arthroscopic procedures for these conditions.

Mr Thomas works closely with sports physicians, physiotherapists, osteopaths, podiatrists and radiologists where necessary. He has worked with variety of professional sportsmen and women in many different sports and is the Match Day Orthopaedic Surgeon for the English RFU at Twickenham.

To book an appointment email or call 020 3918 9463

Date: 04/11/2020