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Knee arthroscopy

Osteoarthritis is a condition that causes joints to become stiff and painful.

Knee arthroscopy is a medical intervention in which the doctor makes small cuts and inserts a small camera to see inside your knee. The doctor then inserts some liquid to flush out any bits of joint or bone that may be loose in your knee.

Does this intervention work?

Research shows that this intervention is not an effective treatment in reducing pain or in helping your knees work better if you have osteoarthritis.

Better treatments are following special exercise programmes, losing weight if you are overweight, and managing your pain.

How can I be referred for this intervention?


As the intervention is ineffective, it is not routinely commissioned by the NHS. This means that it won’t be routinely funded.

However, if your Doctor thinks that you may benefit from this intervention, they can apply to the Individual Funding Request (IFR) panel. The IFR panel will then assess the application and make a decision about your treatment.

The IFR panel meets weekly and aims to consider cases within 14days. The panel’s decision will be communicated to you by letter if you are an adult or by letter to your GP if you are the guardian of a child applying for funding.

If your IFR application is rejected (meaning that your surgery will not be funded by the NHS), then you or your GP has the right to appeal to the IFR panel against this decision within 90days. The panel is independent to your local Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).