Recovering From Arthroscopic Surgery
By Sports Medicine Oregon
What to Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Arthroscopy is a very useful form of surgery that can be used for the treatment of a number of problems. It is important to remember that every surgery may cause some limitations during the recovery period. The amount of damage, injury or disease in your knee will strongly influence the outcome of your knee arthroscopy and your recovery time.
For instance, if your knee is damaged because of jogging, it is likely that there will be a great deal of wear and tear. The weight bearing part of your knee and your articular cushion may be completely gone. In this case, you may not be able to achieve complete recovery. It will probably be necessary for you to engage in only low impact exercise following surgery.
Another thing that will greatly influence your recovery is your rehabilitation program and the extent to which you engage in physical exercise. Having a formal program of physical therapy is quite beneficial.
Your condition at the time of surgery also influences the outcome. While your injury may be the same as that of a professional athlete, your recovery will probably not be as speedy or complete. This is because the professional athlete is likely to have stronger muscles around the knee.
If you have been accustomed to a very intense exercise program, you should consult with your surgeon before returning to it.
A 6-8 week recovery time is to be expected after knee surgery. Once your recovery is complete, you should be able to go back to the majority of physical activities to which you are accustomed. However, it is important to bear in mind that these activities should not have a strong weight bearing impact. Additionally, you must avoid twisting your knee for quite some time.
If you are a heavy laborer, you may need more recovery time before returning to work than, for example, an office worker.
Quick Recovery From Knee Arthroscopy Is Common
Knee arthroscopy is performed by inserting a tiny camera through a very small incision in the knee. Using this method gives the surgeon a clear view of the interior of the knee. In this way, the orthopedic surgeon can diagnose and treat knee problems with great accuracy. This technique is becoming more and more common.
In Arthroscopy: The Journal of Arthroscopic and Related Surgery, January 2008 edition, a study was published. This study was the very first to log the recovery time of several patients who had knee arthroscopy. According to this study, eighty percent of patients who have had knee arthroscopy are able to go back to light activities like yard work and walking only a week or so after surgery.
Dr. James Lubowitz is the lead author of this study. He is also the director at the Taos Orthopedic Institute of New Mexico. He relates that the main question patients have is "When can I get back to my regular activities?" He is pleased to report that this study, gives a very definitive answer to this commonly asked question.
Be sure that your orthopedic surgeon knows about any medications or nutritional supplements you are taking. He or she will let you know if you should stop taking them before your surgery.