Going under the knife can be a bit daunting, but what concerns patients the most isn’t always the surgery itself. Recovery time and aftercare can weigh heavy on the mind. To help alleviate this anxiety, an arthroscopy (a minimally-invasive procedure used to diagnose and treat joint problems using an arthroscope) can make the recovery process faster and easier than open knee surgery. Arthroscopic knee surgery recovery is different for every person depending on their circumstances, but our guide to healing will help you minimize your recovery time.
Arthroscopic knee surgery can be used to:
- Remove damaged meniscus tissue
- Remove loose bodies
- Remove cartilage damage and conduct any auxiliary clean up
- Address other minimally invasive procedures
After surgery, your doctor will provide specific instructions for your recovery and exercise routines. You will also follow up with your doctor post-op to get stitches removed. At that time, you’ll be scheduling bi-weekly rehab appointments for the next four to six weeks.
Getting back to walking
Many people are up with light walking after three to five days of rest and return to heavier work after four to six weeks. While some patients may need crutches for the first couple of days, it is recommended to discontinue use when possible. If you’re planning to return to playing a sport, it is common to be sidelined for four to six weeks, but your doctor will make the ultimate decision. Driving can resume if surgery was on the left leg and pain medication has been stopped. If surgery was on the right knee, it might take two weeks before driving can be resumed.
As you begin your recovery process, it is important not to do more than your knee can handle. This means resting when needed and gradually building up your knee strength. Ice should be used on the site to reduce swelling and pain.
Rehab following arthroscopic knee surgery
During the first couple weeks of rehab, patients will work on their limited range of motion. As they progress through their sessions, stretching and strengthening exercises will prepare the knee for a full range of motion and continued healing. It is very important to stay on track with your rehab appointments and continue sessions until your doctor clears you to maximize your healing results.
Physical therapy rehabilitation helps:
- Minimize scar tissue
- Restore strength
- Regain range of motion
- Speed up your overall recovery
- Maximize return to full function and sport
- Reduce pain
We’ve got a prospective week-by-week rehab schedule with applicable exercises and activities listed on this page to give you a frame of reference.
Access Sports Medicine helps you on your road to recovery
We’re here to help at every stage of your recovery. With locations and walk-in clinics throughout the Seacoast, find a time and location that works best for you. Request an appointment today.