Get Back on Your Feet Sooner After Knee Surgery
Knee arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that is performed by making very small incisions in the knee and looking inside using a tiny camera. Our knee arthroscopic specialists have extensive experience performing knee arthroscopy and often recommend it as a less-invasive alternative to traditional open-knee surgery. Trauma to the surgical area is greatly lessened and recovery time can be substantially shorter with an arthroscopic procedure.
When it’s needed
Knee arthroscopy may be recommended if you have a painful condition that does not respond to nonsurgical treatment, such as rest, physical therapy, and medications or injections that can reduce inflammation. Arthroscopic procedures for the knee may be needed for the following conditions:
- Removal or repair of a torn meniscus
- Reconstruction of a torn anterior cruciate ligament
- Removal of inflamed synovial tissue
- Trimming of damaged articular cartilage
- Removal of loose fragments of bone or cartilage
- Treatment of patella (kneecap) problems
- Knee sepsis (infection)
Recovery from knee arthroscopy is faster than recovery from traditional knee surgery; most patients are able to return home within 1 or 2 hours after surgery. Initially, you will experience some swelling and pain in the knee for a few days after the procedure. If you need pain relief, you may be able to take over-the-counter painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Your doctor may also prescribe opioids for more serious pain management. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice. Be aware that although opioids help relieve pain after surgery, they are a narcotic and can be addictive. As soon as your pain begins to improve, stop taking opioids.
It’s critical to follow your doctor’s instructions when you return home. This advice will help you deal with the following issues after knee arthroscopy:
- Swelling – Keep your leg elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery. Also, ice packs will assist your pain and swelling. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin as it can damage your skin.
- Weight Bearing – Depending on your specific surgery, you may need crutches or other assistance after arthroscopic surgery. Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to put weight on your foot and leg.
- Exercise – You should exercise your knee regularly for several weeks after surgery as directed by your doctor. This will restore motion and strengthen the muscles of your leg and knee.
- Driving – You shouldn’t drive for about one to three weeks after your operation. Your doctor will let you know when it is safe to drive again.
Your recovery time from an arthroscopic procedure will depend on the treatment your surgeon performs on your knee. You should be able to resume usual activities after six to eight weeks depending on the severity of your knee problems and your level of fitness. To learn more about knee arthroscopy, visit http://bit.ly/1LxCCRv.