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What is knee arthroscopic drainage and irrigation?

Arthroscopic drainage and irrigation is a medical procedure that allows a surgeon to remove any abnormal material within a joint. Arthroscopy refers to the process of making only a small cut in the skin and using long surgical instruments on sticks that are guided by a camera to perform a procedure.

Drainage and irrigation is the process of removing any abnormal material from within the joint and washing the joint space with large amounts of sterile water to ensure that all abnormal material is cleared out. You may also hear this referred to as a “knee washout.”

Arthroscopic drainage and irrigation of the knee is most commonly used to remove bacteria if they infect the knee joint. Since the joint of the knee is normally filled with fluid, this fluid can become infected if bacteria somehow enter the joint. 

Knee washout may also be performed for chronic pain from osteoarthritis. If non-surgical treatments fail, surgeons may use arthroscopy to remove fragments of cartilage and bone from the joint.  

Finally, this procedure is required if there is foreign material within the knee joint that causes it to “lock-up.” If a locking sensation in the knee is preventing the leg from being fully straightened, arthroscopy may be required to remove whatever obstruction is within the knee.

How do you drain an infected knee?

How long does a knee washout take?

What is the recovery time for arthroscopic knee surgery?

Do you need crutches after an arthroscopy?

Is arthroscopic knee surgery successful?

* Savings estimate based on a study of more than 1 billion claims comparing self-pay (or cash pay) prices of a frequency-weighted market basket of procedures to insurer-negotiated rates for the same. Claims were collected between July 2017 and July 2019. R.Lawrence Van Horn, Arthur Laffer, Robert L.Metcalf. 2019. The Transformative Potential for Price Transparency in Healthcare: Benefits for Consumers and Providers. Health Management Policy and Innovation, Volume 4, Issue 3.

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Your actual costs may be higher or lower than these cost estimates. Check with your provider and health plan details to confirm the costs that you may be charged for a service or procedure.You are responsible for costs that are not covered and for getting any pre-authorizations or referrals required by your health plan. Neither payments nor benefits are guaranteed. Provider data, including price data, provided in part by Turquoise Health.

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