Arthroscopic Surgery Postoperative Instructions

You have just had an arthroscopic surgery. It is most important to remember that although the external incisions are small, the interior structures take four to eight weeks to heal and quiet down. Overuse of your knee during this period can slow down your recovery.

Swelling: You can expect some swelling in the knees. The amount is variable, depending on individual circumstances. The swelling should diminish within several weeks.

Ice and Elevation: This is the most important for the first few days. This will keep the postoperative swelling to a minimum. The Polar Pad is to be used 12 hours per day for the first 48 hours, then 1 to 2 hours twice per day, thereafter. Keep foot and ankle moving while resting.

Exercise and Rehabilitation: Doing straight leg raises is all that is necessary initially. This is done by tightening the thigh muscle and then lifting the leg up six to tweleve inches off the surface for a count of one to two seconds. The leg is then gently lowered. The goal is to try to repeat this exercise 25 times per hour.

Range of motion of the knee can be carried out within the limits of pain tolerance. During the first week it is necessart to avoid weight machines.

Crutches: You may need crutches for one to three days after surgery. The goal is to not be overly active. If the knee is not tremendously painful, walking can occur without crutches; however, do not overdo it in the first two to three days after surgery since this could result in more swelling than is necessary.

Pain Medication: You will receive a prescription for pain medication. It should be taken as needed. Most people require pain medications for a few days. A local anesthetic has been placed in your knee post-op; you may not have pain for 24 hours; do not overdo activity initially because the lack of pain is form the local anesthesia still “numbing” your knee. Also, take one 325 mg aspirin each day until I see you back for your follow up visit.

Dressing: Please leave the surgical dressing on the leg until post op day number three. You may have some bleeding or leakage from the puncture sites for a few days, which is normal. Bright red bleeding should be reported to our office immediately. You may also shower on post op day number three.

Office Checkup: We will need to see you in the office. Call 298-4417 to schedule an appointment. Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact us. If you are having problems and we do not know about them, we cannot assist you. Most people have soreness and aching initially, which will gradually diminish.

Watch For and Contact Us If:

  • Temperature is above 101
  • Pain is severe
  • Marked redness or continuing drainage
  • Marked or significant swelling in your calf

Office Phone- Always answered: (937)298-4417, or MatchMD  1-888-392-8212

Article by Frank P. Mannarino, M.D.

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