Some Common Questions Asked by People After Knee Arthroscopy

Friday, 16 June 2017

How long does the surgical procedure take place?

The actual surgery time is usually about between 30-45 minutes. If extensive work is needed, the procedure may last up to 60 minutes. Most people “go to sleep totally” during surgery with a general anesthetic.

What is the recovery time?

Everyone heals from their knee surgery at a different pace. If required, patients use crutches or a walker for two to three days after surgery. If your pain is less then you do not have to use crutches or a walker. It takes up to six to seven weeks for the knee joint to re-establish normal joint fluid after arthroscopic surgery. Due of this, you may not realize the benefits of your surgery for five to six weeks. There is a high degree of changeability in recovery time. Some patients are able to return to their regular activities within two to three weeks, but most require roughly six to seven weeks

How long do I need to use Bandage?

The initial bandage usually gets soaked with fluid and blood. Drainage after surgery should slowly decrease after 48 hours, and then Band-Aids are generally sufficient over the small incisions. Once the incisions are totally dry the use of a bandage is optional.

How long will I be on pain medication?

You will likely require some form of pain medication for at least three to four weeks. Again, there is a high degree of changeability with some using narcotic medication for less than one week. If you do not have any serious medical problems such as; hypertension, heart disease, kidney or liver impairment, or a history of previous stomach/intestinal ulcers or reflux, it may be useful to take an anti-inflammatory medication in addition to your narcotic medication directly after surgery. Your orthopaedic surgeon will usually advise this at the time of surgery if appropriate.

Do I need physical therapy?

Many patients are sent for physical therapy after knee arthroscopy, and this is generally decided at the first post-operative visit. Some patients regain motion very quickly and have minimal swelling, therapy may not be required for them or they may only have to go once or twice to learn simple exercises which they can perform at home. Your surgeon will decide what is best for you.

Can I exercise with weights?


Generally it is not advisable for the first three weeks. However, as each person’s strength varies, some patients are able to resume back to their weight training exercises with in three weeks. Use light weights to start with and progress gradually.

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