Arthroscopic knee surgery recovery is not nearly as long and painful as other types of knee surgeries, but one can expect to be off his or her feet for a few days nonetheless. It is important that the patient refrain from using the knee too frequently or for bearing too much weight immediately after the surgery and for the first several days of arthroscopic knee surgery recovery in order to allow the injury to heal naturally. The patient will be responsible for taking care of the wounds created by the incisions made during the surgery, and it is important to keep the wounds covered and clean.
Immediately after the surgery, arthroscopic knee surgery recovery will begin. The doctors will require the patient to spend several hours in a recovery room to allow the effects of anesthesia to wear off. The patient should relax during this period and not try to do too much too soon. Pain will more than likely set in as the anesthesia wears off, so it is important to stay immobile and listen carefully to doctor's instructions for arthroscopic knee surgery recovery once the patient has left the hospital.
At home, the patient may notice swelling around the area of the surgery. Such swelling can lead to pain and can slow healing time. To treat the swelling, the patient may take prescribed anti-inflammatory medication if the doctor has deemed it appropriate. Otherwise, icing or heating the affected area for short periods of time may alleviate some pain and help reduce swelling. Heating and icing should only be done for short periods of time; too much heating or icing can actually irritate the injury and cause more pain.
A full arthroscopic knee surgery recovery generally takes anywhere from two to five weeks, depending on the patient's age, overall health, and success of the surgery. The patient will often be able to walk on the affected knee a few days after the surgery, butshould be careful not to use the joint too much immediately, since too much activity can slow healing and risk re-injuring the joint. Once pain starts to subside, however, the patient should consider contacting a physical therapist to start strengthening the joint and increasing mobilization of the knee.
Monitor swelling and pain carefully. If pain persists for more than a week, or if the joint becomes increasingly immobile or painful to move, contact a doctor immediately. If swelling persists, it may also be wise to contact a doctor. The wounds associated with the surgery, while small, can become infected; be sure to prevent infection by changing dressings regularly, and contact a doctor immediately if an infection occurs.