Arthroscopic knee surgery is a surgical procedure which does not include large incisions. Instead a surgeon performs a few small incisions, inserts specific instruments which allow visualization of the inside of the knee and those necessary for repair of the damaged structures. This if far less invasive surgery comparing to open surgery.
The entire procedure is performed with the assistance of an arthroscope, a tiny camera which inserted into the knee visualizes all the structures of the knee. The surgery is supposed to be performed by well-experienced professionals, those who have specialized in the field of arthroscopic surgery.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Recovery
The recovery starts immediately after the patient is taken out from the operating room. The process is not complex and patients soon restore the function of the operated knee and may return to their every day activities.
After the Surgery
Immediately after the surgery patients will have to deal with some side effects of anesthesia such as drowsiness and they generally feel tired. They need to spend a couple of more hours in the hospital and are then discharged.
It is normal to experience some body reactions associated with the surgery. For instance, the operated area will be swollen and patients will feel pain at the operated site. In order to deal with both, doctors prescribe NSAIDs. One may additionally benefit from cold compresses or ice packs which are applied onto the wound. Antibiotics are also prescribed. They prevent infection which may affect the operated site or even spread to deeper tissues and cause serious complications.
The wound is covered with bandage which is supposed to stay dry. In order to achieve this, one must cover the bandage while taking a shower. During the recovery one should abstain from driving, exercising, swimming and jogging for the initial 2 weeks.
Finally, even though majority of patients can walk without being assisted, doctors in general recommend a walker, crutches or a stick, which are supposed to be used for certain period of time and allow the wound to heal faster.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Exercises
The surgeon decides when it is the best time for the onset of physical therapy. By following recommendations of a well experienced physiotherapist, the lost strength in the knee muscles is rebuilt and the range of motions restored.
Finally, if there is any sign of postoperative complications such as increase in pain, soreness around the wound, fever/chills, increase in swelling etc., one is due to consult the doctor as soon as possible.
All in all, the entire recovery basically lasts from 2-4 weeks.