Neurovascular complications of knee arthroscopy

Tae Kyun Kim, Richard M. Savino, Edward G. McFarland, Andrew J. Cosgarea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


During the last 3 decades, arthroscopy has revolutionized the way knee surgery is performed. The indications and the applications of arthroscopic procedures in the knee joint have enormously increased with the improvement in surgical technique and advent of new arthroscopic equipment. The use of arthroscopic techniques has led to a significant decrease in morbidity for the patient with intraarticular abnormalities, in terms of both diagnosis and surgical correction. Even though knee arthroscopy is a minimally invasive procedure with relatively low morbidity, it is not without risk of complications, of which neurovascular complications are among the most serious and devastating. The reported incidence of neurovascular complication is low, but it may be underestimated. Many neurovascular complications that occur are preventable with a thorough understanding of neurovascular anatomy, good preoperative and intraoperative planning, and attention to the details of basic techniques and the equipment used for the procedure. It is imperative that the surgeon who is performing arthroscopy be aware of these neurovascular complications, recognize them as early as possible, and initiate further evaluation and treatment as expeditiously as possible. In this article, the causes, management, prevention, and medicolegal implications of neurovascular complications of knee arthroscopy are reviewed. 2002 American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)619-629
Number of pages11
JournalAmerican Journal of Sports Medicine
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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