Surgery may be needed to address a variety of knee conditions from fractures to torn ligaments and arthritis. Certain injuries, such as open fractures of the tibia or fibula near the knee, may require immediate surgery. For other conditions, such as the tear of the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), surgery may be considered after other treatments are attempted. In cases of severe arthritis or other significant knee damage, knee replacement (arthroplasty) may be used to replace both sides of the knee joint with artificial parts.
Knee surgery may be performed through a large incision or through several small incisions. The latter is known as minimally invasive knee surgery or arthroscopy and typically uses a small camera devise called an arthroscope to see inside the joint.