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What To Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

What Are My Treatment Options

What Should I Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Treatment for a meniscus tear will depend on its size, what kind it is, and where itâs located within the cartilage. Most likely, your doctor will recommend that you rest, use pain relievers, and apply ice to you knee to keep the swelling down. They may also suggest physical therapy. This will help to strengthen the muscles around your knee and keep it stable.

If these treatments donât work — or if your injury is severe — they might recommend surgery. To be sure, your doctor will probably have an MRI done. And they might look at the tear with an arthroscope. Thatâs a thin tool that has a camera and light at the end. It allows doctors to see inside your joints.

If your doctorâs exam shows your meniscus tear is mild , you may not need surgery. If itâs Grade 3, you probably will. Your doctor might choose to do any of the following:

  • Arthroscopic repair. Your doctor will make small cuts in your knee. Theyâll insert an arthroscope to get a good look at the tear. Then theyâll place small devices that look like darts along the tear to stitch it up. Your body will absorb these over time.
  • Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Your doctor will remove a piece of the torn meniscus so your knee can function normally.
  • Arthroscopic total meniscectomy. During this procedure, your doctor will remove the whole meniscus.

Reasons For Needing Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Candidates for arthroscopic surgery range from someone who has gradually worsening pain with knee crepitus or knee grinding to someone with ligament or cartilage damage needing to be repaired or removed.

Common complaints from patients are my knee hurts when I bend it and straighten it or I have a sharp pain in my knee.

For the purposes of this article, we will discuss the recovery process of common and less involved surgeries of arthroscopic debridement and partial meniscectomy knee surgeries, sometimes referred to as knee scopes.

The goal of this article is to talk about the recovery of a routine debridement or meniscectomy, however its worth taking a second to explain why they differ from more involved procedures.

When Should You Call Your Doctor

Although severe complications with arthroscopic knee surgery are rare, contact a professional immediately if you notice the following symptoms:

  • Loss of consciousness
  • Tingling, numbness or changes in color in foot
  • Redness or swelling in your leg or groin
  • Pain in your calf, the back of your knee, thigh or groin
  • Your incision reopens

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How Do I Look After My Knee When I Get Home

For the first 5 7 days it is very important to elevate the leg when you are resting. Rest is important to allow the swelling and inflammation to settle.

Using an ice pack, or pack of frozen peas, during the first 3 days can help in reduce the swelling and discomfort. Ice can be applied for 20 mins every 2-3 hours. To prevent ice burn, please make sure there is a barrier such as a hand towel between the ice and the skin.

Walking and gentle movement are encouraged to prevent stiffness during the first 2 weeks. After this, a rehabilitation programme supervised by a physiotherapist is recommended. Remember not to work too hard however, as this can cause more swelling.

The incisions should be kept dry for 3 weeks. Your dressings are waterproof and its fine to shower with them. Please change the dressing if the dressing becomes soaked.

It is normal to have a small amount of bleeding into the dressing. If there is ongoing bleeding enough to soak the dressing, this may need review please contact Dr Schluters room for advice.

It is also very normal to have some bruising and swelling around the knee which may take several weeks to settle.

The discomfort in your knee will improve each day, but you may experience soreness for 4 6 weeks after the procedure, especially with deep knee bends. It is important to take the prescribed pain medications regularly as instructed. In general, patients need pain medication for around 5 days.

What Are The Alternatives To Knee Arthroscopy

What is Arthroscopic Knee Surgery?

Your doctor may be able to diagnose your knee problem by examining your knee, or by doing an X-ray or a magnetic resonance imaging scan.

Some knee problems can be treated using physiotherapy and medicines.

You can access a range of treatments on a pay as you go basis, including physiotherapy. Find out more about physiotherapy >

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What Are The Side

After keyhole knee surgery, you may:

  • have some pain and swelling around your knee this can last for up to a week and is completely normal
  • notice small scars on your knee from the cuts
  • feel more tired than usual
  • notice you cant bend your knee properly for a week or so

Speak to your surgeon or nurse if your knee starts to bleed.

What Is Knee Replacement Surgery

Knee replacement surgery is a surgical technique to repair the knee joint. Plastic and metal prosthetic parts are attached to the bones in the knee joint. During the procedure, damaged cartilage and bone are cut away. Then an artificial joint is put in place.

This surgery might be required for someone with a severe knee injury or people who experience pain from chronic arthritis. A sports medicine doctor might recommend knee replacement surgery based on your knees strength, stability, and range of motion. A variety of surgical techniques and prostheses can be used, depending on your weight, age, knee size and shape, activity level, and overall health.

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What To Expect After Knee Replacement Surgery

When the surgery is over, you will need to stay in the hospitals recovery room for observation. Usually, patients can return to their hospital rooms within a few hours after their pulse, blood pressure, and breathing are stable. Since knee replacement is major surgery, its common for the patient to be in the hospital for a few days before returning home. You will begin physical therapy during this in-hospital time.

When its time to head home, your medical team will have a transition plan to help with continued physical therapy and pain management. Its crucial that you are diligent about following these recommendations to regain the range of motion and strength needed in the joint.

How Long Do I Need Crutches For

What to Expect After a Knee Arthroscopy

If you have had a simple arthroscopy, you may not need crutches when you go home.

Crutches are used to help control the amount of weight that is put on the operated knee. This helps the healing process by controlling swelling. The time until you can fully weight bear will depend on the operation performed.

When using crutches, it is important to actively contract the thigh muscles on the operated leg every time you put weight on it.

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Maintain A Healthy Weight

If you’re overweight, it places extra stress on your joints, particularly those of your lower back, hips, ankles, knees and feet. Additional stress on your joints can increase your osteoarthritis risk. Also, being overweight can cause you to have weaker quadriceps muscles, which you need to support your knee.

What To Expect During Knee Arthroscopy Surgery

Who will be involved?

As well as your orthopaedic surgeon, youll also be seen by:

  • An anaesthetist to administer anaesthetic during the operation
  • A physiotherapist to help you with your recovery

Preparing for your knee arthroscopy

You may be asked to attend a pre-admission consultation before your operation this is usually an outpatient appointment.

Your doctor will ask you about any medications or supplements youre taking. You may need to stop taking certain medications or supplements for a few days or weeks running up to your operation. You will also need to stop smoking as this increases your risk of complications, such as infection.

Your doctor may also carry out tests, such as blood tests and/or an electrocardiogram , to assess your fitness for the operation. If you have certain health risks, further tests may be needed.

During this appointment, youll also be given some helpful information including:

  • Advice on what to eat and drink on the day of your arthroscopy you may need to fast for six hours before your procedure depending on the anaesthetic youll have
  • How long you can expect to make a full recovery
  • What medication, if any, should you start or stop before your procedure
  • What to expect after your knee arthroscopy

Your consultant will also discuss the associated risks with surgery and answer any questions you may have about your procedure. After this, youll need to sign a consent form to confirm that youre happy to have the arthroscopy.

Anaesthetic choices

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What Should I Expect Immediately After The Operation

After the operation you will go to the recovery room where nursing staff will monitor you until you are awake. You will notice a tubigrip stocking or bandage around your knee and small number of patients may also have a brace on their knee.

As you wake up you may experience discomfort or a tight/full feeling in the knee, which should be easily managed with pain medication. Once you are alert, you will be encouraged to get up and mobilise slowly.

Depending on the operation that has been performed, you may require crutches for 1- 2 weeks. Dr Schluter will outline instructions specific to you, both before and after the operation.

You will be given a disc with pictures taken inside the knee joint to take home with you. The pictures can be confusing to understand, but Dr Schluter will discuss these in detail at your follow up visit.

What Is The Goal Of The Arthroscopy

what to expect after arthroscopic knee surgery?

Dr. Gombera uses knee arthroscopy to conduct a broad range of surgical procedures on the knee joint. These procedures can include:

  • Confirming a diagnosis
  • Removing or repairing a torn meniscus
  • Repairing articular cartilage
  • Reconstructing torn ligaments

Our goal is to perform a suitable surgical procedure to repair or improve your knee problems. An arthroscope enhances our ability to perform these procedures. You can expect different results from a knee arthroscopy procedure depending on what is wrong with your knee, what we can do inside your knee to improve the problem and your effort at rehabilitation after the surgery.

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How Soon Can I Be Back To Competitive Sports After Knee Arthroscopy

Return to sport is usually depends on the type of surgery that the patient has undergone. If the patient has undergone a simple surgery like partial meniscectomy, then they may return to physical therapy and sports rehab in two to six weeks and may be back to sports in 8 to 10 weeks. If the patient has undergone procedures like meniscus repair or ligamentous repair or reconstruction, then it may take longer time to return to play. The patients with ACL reconstruction may take up to 6 to 12 months to be able to return to the same level of competitive play as they were before the injury.

What Are The Risks Of Knee Arthroscopy

While knee arthroscopy is a safe procedure for the treatment of knee injuries, there are some risks that patients should be aware of. Depending on the patient and joint condition, these risks may include swelling and stiffness of the joint, bleeding, blood clots, infection, or continuing knee problems.

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What Is Sports Medicine

Sports medicine, specifically, is a multidisciplinary field connected with orthopedics, because it particularly focuses on musculoskeletal problems or injuries due to sports, exercise, and recreational activities. Sports medicine is an area of orthopedics that is rapidly growing, and many sports medicine doctors are board certified orthopedic surgeons.

These pages are not intended to provide medical or surgical advice or physician instruction on the medical care or treatment. If you are a patient, consult with your doctor about treatment options that may be appropriate for your medical condition.

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How Do I Prepare For Knee Arthroscopy

How to Rehab your Knee after Arthroscopic Surgery?

Your doctor or surgeon will advise you how to prepare for your surgery. Be sure to tell them about any prescriptions, over-the-counter medications, or supplements that youre currently taking. You may need to stop taking certain medicines, such as aspirin or ibuprofen, for weeks or days before the procedure.

You must also refrain from eating or drinking for six to 12 hours before the surgery. In some cases, your doctor may prescribe you a pain medication for any discomfort you experience after the surgery. You should fill this prescription ahead of time so that you have it ready after the procedure.

Your doctor will give you an anesthetic before your knee arthroscopy. This may be:

  • local
  • regional
  • general

If youre awake, you may be able to watch the procedure on a monitor.

The surgeon will begin by making a few small incisions, or cuts, in your knee. Sterile salt water, or saline, will then pump in to expand your knee. This makes it easier for the surgeon to see inside the joint. The arthroscope enters one of the cuts and the surgeon will look around in your joint using the attached camera. The surgeon can see the images produced by the camera on the monitor in the operating room.

When the surgeon locates the problem in your knee, they may then insert small tools into the incisions to correct the issue. After the surgery, the surgeon drains the saline from your joint and closes your cuts with stitches.

There are also risks specific to a knee arthroscopy, such as:

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Can I Leave My Nail Polish Braiding And Engagement Rings On

The patients are encouraged to remove all jewelries before coming in for the surgery. The patient can have nail polish if it is not easily removable. In case the rings and jewelry are not removable, then they are taped during the surgery to prevent burns that may be caused due to the use of cautery device during the surgery.

How Long Is Recovery

You may have to wear a brace or cast to keep your knee stable. Youâll likely also have to use crutches for at least a month to keep weight off your knee.

Your doctor may recommend physical therapy as part of your recovery. Itâll help increase your range of motion and help your knee get stronger. They may also share some exercises you can do at home.

If you have a partial or total meniscectomy, you can expect your recovery to take about a month. If your meniscus was repaired, it may take as long as 3 months.

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Arthroscopic Repair Of Articular Cartilage Injury

Articular cartilage is the cartilage at the end of the bones. Damage can occur from trauma or normal wear and tear. Arthroscopy is used to remove loose pieces of cartilage. A microfracture procedure makes tiny holes in the bone marrow of the damaged cartilage to generate new cartilage.

After surgery the joint must be protected while the cartilage heals. No weight bearing is permitted for the first few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy to restore mobility may include continuous passive movement therapy which moves the joint through ROM constantly. Rehabilitation is focused on strengthening the joint and muscles.

How Long Does Pain Last After Knee Replacement Surgery What To Expect

9 Things No One Ever Tells You About Getting A Knee Replacement ...

Knee pain can appear in many forms. Arthritis, an injury, and gradual wear and tear as you age can all have an effect on your activities and comfort level. If youre unable to walk or climb a stairs because of your pain , knee replacement surgery may be the best way to get your life back. While the benefits of the procedure may significantly outweigh temporary discomfort, its important to have realistic expectations regarding your recovery timeline and knee replacement pain after surgery.

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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.

Research Continued: After The Surgery The Researchers Found Patients Had To Alter Their Recovery And Post

  • The amount of pain and discomfort in recovery and post-op became the greatest impact of post-surgical patient non-satisfaction.
  • Compared with preoperative health problems, postsurgical health problems were associated were a bigger problem than anticipated.
  • Significant differences in thinking before surgery and surgical outcomes were observed including
  • Greater problems than anticipated in:
  • Mobility,
  • Not being able to perform usual activities,
  • anxiety/depression.
  • It is important to know that the purpose of this research was to assign a set of values to these patient problems in order to be able to come up with a formula that would better help the patient with their expectations before and after the surgery. The researchers had to conclude in the end that:

    Our systematic review highlights a lack of evidence about the effectiveness of prediction and management strategies for chronic postsurgical pain after total knee replacement.

    In the end, there is no way currently to predict who will benefit and who will get worse from knee replacement surgery and patients should be counseled that there is no guarantee that knee replacement will work for them.

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