An arthroscopic knee surgery is used to repair ligament tears, cartilage tears and to realign loose bones in the knee.
It is a minimally invasive surgery, which means that all it requires is a tiny cut and an arthroscope (a thin tube with a camera attached to its tip) to be inserted through the cut to help perform the surgery on the knee or any other joint. Despite its minimal injury/ wound feature, you still have to take certain precautions during the recovery period.
Here’s a list of things you have to do after an arthroscopic knee surgery:
- After the operation, you can return home the same day, but it might take 4 to 5 days to get back to work. If your job demands you to stand a lot or to lift heavy materials then it might take 2 months for you to get back to the office.
- Slowly walk around the house for short intervals on the first day itself. It is advisable to use an orthopaedic walker or a crutch while walking so that you don’t end up straining your knee with your entire body’s weight on it. Walking will not only boost your leg’s mobility but also the blood circulation in and around the knee.
- Avoid standing for long periods for at least 2 weeks. This can strain your knee and hinder the healing process.
- You will have to take the painkillers and other medication as prescribed by your doctor.
- Make sure not to get your bandage wet even while having a bath for at least 2 weeks. This can infect the wound and you might have to undergo a surgery again.
- For the first 3-4 days, it’s crucial that you keep placing an ice pack on your knee to help control the swelling and pain. This should be done for 4 to 6 times daily but make sure you don’t wet the wound’s dressing.
- While resting and lying down, place 1 or 2 pillows below your foot (corresponding to the leg that has been operated) so that your foot and knee are placed higher than your heart’s level. This will help in controlling the swelling.
- Make sure to get ample rest and sleep at least for the first few days. Your body repairs wounds better during sleep.
- Drink a lot of fluids but avoid beverages like alcohol and coffee that dehydrate you.
- Perform these exercises for the first two weeks or as directed by your doctor:
- While lying down, move your foot/ ankle up and down as if operating the clutch of your car. Repeat this exercise for substantial times after every 2 hours to prevent blood clots.
- Lie down on your back and stretch your legs flat on the bed. Then tighten the muscles of your thighs in such a manner that your knee becomes completely flat and the back of your knee touches the bed thoroughly. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do it 20 times every 2 hours to avoid stiffness in the knee.
- Lie down on your back and stretch your legs straight on the bed. Slide your heel towards your thigh so that your knee bends a bit. Hold this position for 5 seconds. Do it for 20 times every 2 hours to retain your knee’s flexibility.
It’s normal to experience swelling, redness and pain but if the pain gets unbearable or if there is too much bleeding or discolouration of the wound, contact your doctor immediately.
Following these steps is extremely crucial to regain the flexibility and mobility of your knee. Apart from these post-op measures, it’s also necessary that you choose an experienced and sensible orthopaedic or arthroscopic surgeon for a safe and a successful operation. Visit Apollo Spectra to consult with the best orthopaedic surgeons in your city.