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Knee Arthroscopy Recovery Time Crutches

What Are The Benefits Of Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery | One Week Post-op Recovery

Knee arthroscopy is an effective tool in diagnosing your joint condition and for confirming treatment for knee problems such as meniscus tears and cartilage wear. An arthroscopy can ultimately provide relief from knee pain and improve mobility. Maintaining a normal and active lifestyle with greater comfort is a key benefit of this procedure.

How Long Do I Have To Wait Before I Can Do Everything Again

Your recovery time will depend on the extent of the surgery performed, your overall health condition, and your adherence to the surgeons instructions. A few days after having arthroscopic knee surgery, you should be able to start walking with less and less help from crutches or a walker.

Note that the recommended timeframe for complete recovery after undergoing this procedure is generally 4-6 weeks. This is how long it usually takes for the fluid in the knee joint to get back to normal. Your orthopedic surgeon will give you specific instructions and recommendations in your case.

Arthroscopic Acl Ligament Reconstruction

On average full recovery from ACL reconstruction is 6-9 months for healthy, active patients. Surgical healing takes 6-8 weeks. A rehabilitation program to restore range of motion, strengthen muscles and regain balance will be part of your recovery. Patents can expect swelling and stiffness.

Patients go home immediately after surgery with crutches and a brace, plus a prescription for pain medication. Medication may be needed for 2-3 weeks. Rehabilitation begins within a week of surgery.

Crutches will be used until the patient can walk without a limp on the repaired knee, which takes about 2 weeks after surgery. The knee will be swollen for 2-3 months. Patients will be instructed on the use of ice to reduce swelling.

If the meniscus is also torn, and repaired at the same time, crutches will be needed for longer period. Total recovery time for an ACL reconstruction with meniscus repair is 12-16 weeks, and it varies with each individual.

Patients may drive after pain medication, but when the right knee is affected, the patient must wait for 4-6 weeks before resuming driving.

If the patient has a desk job, they may be able to return 7days after surgery. However, if their job requires lots of standing, the patient should wait to return until 4-6 weeks after surgery.

Resumption of sports will depend on the type of repair and your surgeon will determine when you can resume sports.

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How Knee Arthroscopy Is Performed

Three different types of pain relief may be used for knee arthroscopy surgery:

  • Painkilling medicine Your knee may be numbed with painkilling medicine. You also may be given medicine to help you relax. You will stay awake during your arthroscopic knee surgery.
  • Spinal anesthesia This is also called regional anesthesia. Painkilling medicine is injected into a space in your spine. You will be awake during knee arthroscopy but will not be able to feel anything below your waist.
  • General anesthesia You will be asleep and pain-free during your arthroscopic knee surgery.

A cuff-like device that blows up may be used around your thigh to help control bleeding during knee arthroscopy. Your surgeon will make two or three small cuts around your knee, and salt water will be pumped into your knee to stretch the knee.

A narrow tube with a tiny camera on the end will be placed inside through one of the cuts. The camera is attached to a video monitor in the operating room. The surgeon looks at the monitor to see the inside of your knee. In some operating rooms, patients can also watch the arthroscopic knee surgery on the monitor, if they want to.

The surgeon will look around your knee for problems and will then fix or remove the problem in your knee.

What Conditions Does Knee Arthroscopy Treat

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You may need knee arthroscopy if you have:

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Arthroscopic Knee Repair Surgery Recovery Times

Arthroscopic knee repair surgery is a minimally invasive surgery used to repair damage to the knee joint. The surgery is performed through small incisions in the skin around the knee. Recovery times vary depending on the extent of the damage, but most people can expect to return to normal activities within a few weeks.

Following knee arthroscopy, it is recommended that you have a surgeon see you within one week. Physical therapy, when performed in conjunction with rest and recovery, may help you return to activities that are pain-free and safe. A limited level of activity will be imposed during the first few days after surgery as a result of the knees recovery. The majority of your normal activities will return to you in six to eight weeks. In general, physical therapy is scheduled for three to six weeks, depending on your schedule. While standing and walking, you may be unable to exert as much force through your leg as you would if you were weightless. Ankle crutches are commonly used to help you walk and keep your left knee weightless despite having an operating knee.

Pain Or Swelling After Exercise

As you increase the intensity of your exercise program, you may experience temporary setbacks. If your knee swells or hurts after a particular exercise activity, you should lessen or stop the activity until you feel better.

You should then Rest, Ice, Compress , and Elevate your knee . Contact your orthopaedic surgeon if your symptoms persist.

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How Long Does It Take To Recover From Knee Arthroscopy

Normal knee arthroscopy recovery time is up to six weeks because your knee joint requires that much of time to reproduce joint fluid after surgery. This is the reason why you may not notice how effective your surgery was for the first few weeks. However, how long it takes someone to recover from surgery may be completely different from others who have undergone the procedure.There are patients who return to their normal activities within two weeks of their surgery, but this is rare. Keep in mind that it may take up to four months until swelling goes away completely and you regain your strength and flexibility.

When Can You Return to Normal Activities?

In most cases, you require at least six weeks before you could undertake strenuous physical activities, such as sport and heavy lifting.

Getting Ready For Surgery

How long does it take to recover from Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Since arthroscopic knee surgery usually is not performed in an emergency setting, you will have plenty of time to prepare. Your surgical team will likely give you instructions on what to do in the 2 weeks before surgery.

In the weeks / days prior to surgery:

Tell your surgical team about any and all medications you are currently taking including non-prescription medications, supplements, or herbs

You will likely need to stop taking any medication that makes it harder for your blood to clot. These include: aspirin, plavix, ibuprofen , naproxen , warfarin , xarelto, pradaxa. Rarely, your doctors may ask you to continue taking these medications around the time of surgery. Therefore, it is always best to check with both your surgical team and primary care doctor to see what they recommend.

Ask your primary care doctor which of your daily medicines you should take on the day of surgery.

If you smoke, try to quit. Ask your primary care doctor for help quittingbut dont use a nicotine patch. Smoking can slow down wound and bone healing and can increase your risk of developing a wound infection.

If you develop an illness or infection prior to surgery, be sure to call and let your surgical team know. If this is the case, sometimes your surgery will have to be postponed until a later date for your safety. It is better to know sooner than later so your surgical team can get you rescheduled.

The day before surgery:

On the day of surgery:

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How Long Does It Take To Walk Or Work After Meniscus Repair Surgery


Meniscus tears of the knee are one of the most common problems seen by orthopedic surgeons. The meniscus is a c-shaped pad of cartilage that acts as the shock absorber of the knee and lower stress on the bones and cartilage. It can be pretty painful when damaged.

All patients and meniscus tears are different, and there are many variables when deciding how to treat these tears. The treatment of meniscus tears usually falls into one of two categories:

  • A true repair that involves sowing the tissue back together with stitches
  • Damage that is not repairable, treated with partial meniscectomy, or trimming out the torn portion of the meniscus

The treatment approach for a particular meniscus tear depends on many factors. For one, there are many different types of meniscus tears large or small, simple or complex, acute or chronic, associated with arthritis or not, and more. In addition, we have to take into account the location of the tear with regard to its blood supply. If there is no blood supply it may have a hard time healing or scarring back together. As you can see, there are many variables to consider and it would be impossible to apply a one size fits all type of approach to the treatment of meniscus tears. This is where physician expertise and experience becomes important.

Terminal Knee Extension Supine

Lie on your back with a towel roll under your knee.

Straighten your knee and hold for 5 seconds. Slowly return to the starting position.

Repeat 10 times.

Advanced: Before starting, add weights to your ankle, starting with 1 pound of weight and building up to a maximum of 5 pounds of weight over 4 weeks.

Terminal knee extension, supine

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What Is The Recovery Time

Everyone heals from their knee surgery at a different pace. If necessary, patients use crutches or a walker for one to three days after surgery. If your pain is minimal then you do not have to use crutches or a walker. Once more comfortable, most people are able to walk with just a slight limp within five days after surgery. Some people find a cane to be helpful. If you use a cane, place it in the hand opposite the knee that was operated on.

It takes up to six weeks for the knee joint to re-establish normal joint fluid after arthroscopic surgery. Because of this, you may not realize the benefits of your surgery for four to six weeks. There is a high degree of variability in recovery times. Some patients are able to return to regular activities within two weeks, but most require roughly six weeks before they can resume full activities including sports comfortably. Reduction of pain and swelling and improvement in strength, motion, and coordination may continue for three to four months.

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Is It Worth Having A Knee Arthroscopy

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It is frequently successful in reducing or eliminating pain caused by cartilage or soft tissue damage to the knee. Doctors and patients prefer knee scoping to other procedures because it is simpler. Because the orthopedic knee surgeon only needs to make a tiny incision to insert the arthroscope, the procedure is simple.

The Evidence For Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Is Mixed

Despite the existence of some evidence for arthroscopic knee surgery to treat knee osteoarthritis, the procedure is not widely accepted. There is evidence that surgery is more effective in patients who have symptoms for more than six months, but a more recent Cochrane review found that surgery is no better than placebo for pain relief, function, or quality of life. In addition to physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, and corticosteroids, patients with knee osteoarthritis should try other treatments first, according to the newly revised guidelines. If these treatments fail, surgery may be required. People with pain or limited knee function who are unable to find relief with other treatments may still benefit from a knee brace. Nonetheless, there is no solid evidence to suggest that surgery is safe however, people should consult their doctor before undergoing surgery if there is any solid evidence.

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Basic Information About This Procedure:

You are scheduled for an arthroscopic surgery to remove torn meniscus and/or cartilage tissues from your knee. For this surgery, most people “go to sleep completely” during surgery with a general anesthetic. Surgery with a spinal anesthetic is also an option. Three small incisions are made to allow special instruments, including a fiber-optic camera, to be placed into your knee. Sterile saline is brought into the knee joint continuously with tubing to provide a clear view for the surgeon. Torn parts of the meniscus and/or damaged cartilage on the bone surfaces are carefully removed with special arthroscopic instruments. The end result is a knee lined with smooth and stable tissues rather than rough, torn, and unstable edges. The actual surgery time is usually about 30 minutes, but if extensive work is needed, the procedure may last slightly longer. At the end of the surgery, local anesthesia medication is injected into the knee and reduces pain for about 10 to 12 hours after surgery. This explains why patients often note that their pain is not severe at first, then worse the day after surgery.

In most cases, the small incisions are closed with Steri-strips only and no skin stitches are used. Steri-strips are somewhat waterproof, lasting seven to ten days, and then they begin to peel back at the edges. If nylon stitches are used at the skin level, they will need to be removed at roughly 7 to 14 days after surgery. This will be done at your first post-operative visit.

When Can I Return To Work After Surgery

The length of time you should wait before going back to work will depend on your profession. Post-surgery recovery usually lasts from 7 to 10 days, during which time you should be very sedentary and allow your knee to heal. Your doctor will recommend an appropriate time for you to go back to work and other recommendations to ease the transition.

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What Exercises Should I Do After Surgery

You are encouraged to bend and straighten your knee as much as pain allows immediately after standard knee arthroscopy. Remember, however, that your knee may be swollen and full motion may be difficult for the first few days. You may tighten your quadriceps muscle right after surgery and we encourage straight leg raises if they are not too painful. Massaging the patella with your leg straight is also beneficial. Using your fingers, push the patella in all four directions and hold it for 10 seconds in each direction. This helps prevent scar formation and tightness around the patella during the recovery period.

You can put as much weight on your leg as is comfortable immediately after surgery. Again, the usual need for crutches or a walker is about two or three days. Riding on an exercise bike, using a treadmill or elliptical machine, or just plain walking are all good exercises to begin once the knee is less painful. Do not be surprised if your knee has a tendency to swell after such activities remember to ice and elevate the knee afterwards.

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How much recovery time do i need for my knee arthroscopic surgery?

Doctors and physiotherapists may recommend a series of exercises to help you build strength and increase mobility. Try to bend the knee as much as possible unless directed otherwise.

  • Physiotherapy care

Physiotherapy clinicsoffer guidance for post-operative patients to safely make progress as they begin to move and walk with increasing duration and intensity.

  • Compression socks/stockings

Compression socks/stockingscan help blood circulate throughout the body and may speed the healing process.

  • Shower carefully

After 48 hours, patients may cover the tensor bandage and gauze with plastic wrap and take a shower. Avoid submerging your knee in a bath or a pool until cleared to do so at your 2-3 week post-operative appointment. Once stitches are removed and youre allowed to shower without the plastic covering, gently dry incisions after washing and cover them with band-aids.

After some time, arthroscopy patients can comfortably and slowly return to normal activities. Rehabilitation sessions with a licensed physiotherapist can help speed the recovery process.

PARC of Ontario has a team of caring physiotherapists who create an individualized rehabilitation plan for post-operative arthroscopy patients. We also offer compression socks/stockings to help during your recovery. Contact us at any of our centres to schedule an appointment.

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What Can I Do To Speed Up My Recovery

Proper aftercare should be observed to prevent complications from the procedure. This includes the following:

  • Medications help control the pain and inflammation that may occur after the surgery.
  • Keeping your wound dressing clean helps prevent infection and ensures that the wound will heal quickly and properly.
  • RICE method rest, ice, compression, and elevation of the knee area helps to mitigate pain and swelling.
  • Exercise physical therapy is usually prescribed by orthopedic doctors to improve the mobility and flexibility of the knee.

Why Does It Hurt So Much After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

There are a few reasons why arthroscopic knee surgery may be painful afterwards. The first reason is that the surgery itself is quite invasive. Arthroscopic knee surgery involves making small incisions in the knee and then using a small camera to look inside the knee joint. This can be quite painful in and of itself. The second reason is that the recovery process can be quite difficult. It is important to keep the knee elevated and to ice it frequently in order to reduce the swelling. However, this can be difficult to do when the knee is extremely painful. Finally, it is important to remember that everyone heals at different rates. Some people may find that their pain subsides relatively quickly while others may find that it takes weeks or even months for the pain to go away completely.

Most people can operate without the need for knee surgery. Some patients may still experience pain after a procedure, depending on the circumstances. MRIs show tears in the meniscus, but this is not always the cause of our pain. The joint ends of your bones are affected by osteoarthritis. During the procedure, the bones around your knee joint become inflamed, increasing your chances of having to walk with a torn kneecap. You may still have pain after surgery for a variety of reasons.

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