Complications in knee arthroscopy

Knee Surg Sports Traumatol Arthrosc. 2006 May;14(5):473-7. doi: 10.1007/s00167-005-0694-x. Epub 2005 Oct 6.


All simple arthroscopic procedures during 1999 through 2001 performed at Baerum community hospital were retrospectively examined. Procedures were excluded when being part of more complex procedures. A total of 876 procedures performed on 785 patients were left for examination. Complications were registered from the patient record and all received a written questionnaire or phone call. The answer was obtained from 97.6%. The overall complications rate was low, giving total of 5.00%. A total of 0.68% of the complications had therapeutic consequences. There were two superficial infections, one thromboembolic event/pulmonary embolus and one reoperation due to scar tissue. Other complications were considered minor, and had none or little consequence for the patient comprising preoperative bradycardial episodes, asthmatic events, subcutaneous infusion of total intravenous anaesthetics (TIVA), instrument breakage and conversion to arthrotomi. Postoperatively registered complications included swelling, haemarthros, portal bleeding and fistulation, temporary sensory loss and longstanding pain. Duration of surgery was the only predicting factor for postoperative complications. Simple arthroscopic surgery is safe and has few serious complications. The use of TIVA or tourniquet does not increase the morbidity or complication rate, and prophylaxis against thromboembolism was not necessary.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Arthroscopy / statistics & numerical data*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Knee Joint / surgery*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology*
  • Retrospective Studies