What is Knee Arthroscopy?
Knee arthroscopy is an advanced minimally invasive surgery. It is performed to treat and diagnose knee joint problems. During this surgical procedure, a very small incision is made on the knee joint or area that is to be operated upon, and a tiny camera- called the arthroscope- is inserted into the knee. With the help of this camera, the surgeon explores inside the knee to not only identify the problem, but to probe, investigate, and further surgically correct any problem with small instruments.
The modern arthroscopy is an alternative to the traditional arthrotomy knee surgery. It is used to treat knee conditions as well as meniscus tears, cartilage damage, fissures, and many other such ailments.
Read: 5 Myths on Knee Surgery
After the arthroscopy, you will be put under constant monitoring to ensure no complications occur until the effects of the anaesthesia wear off. You may experience certain pain or discomfort as the anaesthesia wears-off, which can be regulated with painkillers- these will be given by your surgeon, based on your progress and past health conditions. Most people who have undergone the procedure are discharged within a day or two. In some cases, the patient is discharged on the same day. While some patients are able to return to regular activities within just two weeks, most require roughly six weeks to comfortably resume activities like sports/games. It may take up to 3-4 months for a full recovery with visible improvement in strength, motion, coordination and complete reduction of any pain or swelling.
Depending on the procedure, you may need a temporary splint, sling or crutches to support and protect the joint while recovering. Special pumps or compression bandages can also be used to improve blood flow, depending on individual cases. If necessary, some patients will have to use crutches or a walker for 1-3 days after the surgery. If your pain is minimal then you do not have to use crutches or a walker.
Before leaving, you are advised to consult a physiotherapist. With his/her guidance, you can practice certain exercises that will help in faster recovery. It is pivotal to follow the physiotherapists’ instructions in order to return to normalcy, post the surgery. Along with this, depending on your health condition, certain medications could also be suggested by the surgeon.
Tips for quicker recovery
Recovery period for knee arthroscopy varies from patient to patient, however, certain common tips or practices can be followed in order to return to normal routine, and to get back to life faster.
Here are few tips as recommended by our expert surgeons:
- If discharged on the same, it is advised to have help while returning home, and also while resting at home- at least for the first 24-48 hours. In case of any complications, immediate aid or a call for aid should be available.
- Follow your medications diligently.
- Elevate the joint to ensure proper blood flow, if required.
- Apply ice packs to reduce swelling, if advised to so.
- Exercise as instructed by your physiotherapist.
- Keep the dressings clean and as dry as possible, shower with care.
- Change your dressings as required, or if they get wet. Dressings can usually be removed after 5-10 days.
These tips are suggested to those who have undergone knee arthroscopy with no complications, and in any case, are advised to consult their doctor or surgeon before following the same. Furthermore, it is necessary to keep your doctor in the know-how of your knee condition post the surgery. Any odd sign, complication or change should be reported to the doctor immediately. Along with this, a follow-up consultation is required to observe your recovery and to note the results.
Considering a knee arthroscopy? Our doctors can help you seek an expert opinion! Get medical advice, consultation, and more helpful tips before you get your surgery. Our advanced techniques, ultra-modern modular OTs, and near-zero infection rates are on par with our surgeons’ 2000+ years of experience.
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