As you age, your knees become more vulnerable to degenerative diseases that result in painful symptoms. If your knee pain has become debilitating and unresponsive to conservative treatment options, your doctor may recommend surgery.
You may have heard of traditional open surgery where your surgeon makes a six- to twelve-inch incision to access the joint. However, there are less invasive options like arthroscopic knee surgery. During this procedure, your surgeon makes small, button-sized incisions on your knee and uses an instrument known as an arthroscope to see inside it. Here’s what you should know about this technology-enabled treatment.
Before Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Before undergoing knee arthroscopy, your doctor will perform an exam and review your medical history to check if you’re in good enough health to get the surgery done.
Remember to inform your doctor about any medications and supplements you’re taking. Depending on many factors, your doctor may advise you to avoid taking certain medications to reduce the risk of bleeding and other complications. Likewise, let your doctor know of any allergies to drugs or anesthetic agents you may have.
Make the necessary arrangements to have someone pick you up after surgery since you will not be in a condition to drive yourself home. Recovery will also be different for everyone, so don’t forget to make any necessary changes you need at home while you recover.
Wear loose clothing like baggy shorts or long skirts to make it easier to dress once the surgery is over.
During Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Your doctor will begin by administering anesthesia to make you unconscious for the procedure. Once the anesthesia kicks in, your doctor will make a small incision on the surface of the knee and insert the arthroscope, a narrow tube with a small video camera attached to it. A nearby monitor will display real-time images captured by the arthroscope from inside the joint.
To improve their view inside the joint, your doctor may pump sterile fluid. Then, they’ll remove the damaged parts of the knee using miniature surgical instruments. They will also make additional small incisions as needed.
Afterward, your surgeon will drain the fluid and close the incisions using adhesive tape or a few stitches. The procedure usually lasts an hour or less to complete.
After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Once the procedure is finished, you should rest for a few hours before having someone drive you home. Your doctor will give instructions on how to take care of your knee.
They may prescribe pain medications or recommend assistive devices like splints or crutches for added protection and stability. If you feel any swelling or discomfort, try the RICE method of rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Physical therapy can speed up the recovery process by strengthening your muscles and improving joint function. Ask your physical therapist about the recommended exercises to help you stay active. They may also teach you how to sit, get up, lie down, walk up and downstairs, and make movement recommendations to prevent unnecessary pressure on your joint.
Your wounds should begin healing within a few days. In most cases, it’s possible to return to work a week after surgery and resume an active lifestyle within one to two months.
Although knee arthroscopy is a very safe procedure, there may be instances where an infection can develop. Call your doctor’s office immediately if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Increasing pain or swelling in the treated area
- Fluid or foul smell at the incision site
- Redness or warmth
- Numbness or tingling
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery In Boynton Beach, Florida
Compared to traditional open surgery, arthroscopic techniques involve smaller and more precise incisions. This means less blood loss and scarring, resulting in decreased postoperative pain and shorter recovery times. In open surgery, you may have to stay overnight at the hospital, while it’s possible to be discharged a few hours after knee arthroscopy.
If you want to explore arthroscopic knee surgery, visit Personalized Orthopedics of the Palm Beaches today. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons use state-of-the-art technology and minimally invasive techniques to treat your damaged joint. After surgery, our physical therapists will develop a customized rehabilitation plan to get you back to the life you love as soon as safely possible.
To schedule an appointment, call our clinic at (561) 733-5888 or fill out our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you move without limitations!