Recovering from Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

Your recovery after knee arthroscopy will depend on what type of problem was treated, but generally recovery from simple arthroscopic surgery is usually much faster than recovery from traditional open knee surgery or total knee replacement. Still, it is important to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions carefully after you return home.

  • Keep your leg elevated as much as possible for the first few days after surgery.
  • Apply ice as recommended by your doctor to relieve swelling and pain.
  • Keep your incisions clean and dry. Your surgeon will tell you when you can shower or bathe, and when you should change the dressing.
  • Your surgeon will tell you when it is safe to put weight on your foot and leg.
  • Your doctor will discuss with you when you may drive. This decision is based on a number of factors, including:
    • The knee involved
    • Whether you drive an automatic or stick shift
    • The nature of the procedure
    • Your level of pain
    • Whether you are using narcotic pain medications
    • How well you can control your knee.

Your doctor will prescribe pain medication to help relieve discomfort following your surgery. He or she may also recommend medication such as aspirin to arthroscopy imagelessen the risk of blood clots.

You should exercise your knee regularly for several weeks after surgery. This will restore motion and strengthen the muscles of your leg and knee.

Physical therapy is an important component of your recovery from knee arthroscopy. It helps to regain control of the leg muscles, wean you from crutches, regain full knee motion, and will hasten your return to normal activity. Once your knee is strong enough to bear some weight, the intensity of your physical therapy will increase. At this point, your physical therapy goals will be to regain full knee motion and to continue to strengthen the knee.

If you are considering knee surgery, contact Dr. Wesley Johnson. He can explain all of your surgical options and what is right for your unique case.

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