What Is the Process of Arthroscopy Recovery?

Jo Dunaway

Arthroscopy recovery is easier than recovery from open surgery; it is a surgical procedure with smaller entrance wounds for the introduction of an arthroscope, through which instruments will perform the necessary repairs. These minimally invasive procedures allow orthopedists to deal with joint problems due to wear and tear or damages from overstressing of joints in athletics, work or accidents. Careful attention to care of bandages and exercises done on the physician’s timetable make recovery much smoother and avoid infections or re-injury.

Exercises to gain motion and strength will be slowly introduced and monitored after arthroscopic surgery.
Exercises to gain motion and strength will be slowly introduced and monitored after arthroscopic surgery.

Arthroscopic surgery on a knee is often for repairs; washouts of synovium, which clean internal infections from joint interiors; or to retrieve loose objects in tissues surrounding the joint. Release from the hospital is usually two to four hours after surgery, and there will be a compression bandage or brace on the knee to stabilize the joint. The decrease of any possible swelling will require cold-wrap therapies, and pain medication will be prescribed to be used as needed. Depending on the type of repair done, arthroscopy recovery for knees can take anywhere from six weeks to six months and, as directed by doctors, exercises will be slowly increased over time. Walking without a brace or crutches may not be possible for weeks following the surgery.

Shoulder joint or rotator cuff open surgery is a difficult recovery, but when it’s possible to have an arthroscope address a repair or difficulty, incisions will be smaller and arthroscopy recovery time far quicker than with open surgery. Repairing muscle group tears, re-anchoring tendons to bone, and correcting restricted joint or cuff motion can often allow the patient more natural movement after four to six weeks wearing a sling. Some simple range-of-motion exercises will be slowly introduced and increased to include strengthening exercises after the sling is removed. Most normal activities and very limited athletics, for younger patients, may be possible at 12 to 16 weeks. The latter depends on the sport; however, it is possible to engage in even some contact sports after four to six months.

Arthroscopy recovery for hips that have corrections made for wear and tear problems to forestall osteoarthritis, along with synovium inflammation washouts, and bone spur and loose cartilage removals, can relieve pain and suffering. The recovery will be on a weight-bearing joint, and patience with recovery time is paramount. Rest and cooling wraps will help reduce swelling, and crutches will most likely be necessary. Pain medication may be required in the weeks following arthroscopic hip surgery, but most swelling of hip and upper leg may be gone after one week, within a day or two of having bandages removed at the doctor’s office. Exercises to regain motion and strength will be slowly introduced and monitored.

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