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Knee arthroscopy: Procedure, Recovery time and exercise

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

Many people who do not know or know little about the health area find it difficult and worrying when the doctor indicates or requests a knee arthroscopy but, certainly, they should know that this is nothing more than a diagnostic method that is performed in order to solve problems around the joints.

It is normal that a lot of concern is generated when this study should be carried out and everything that it implies, especially when it can be incorporated again into daily life. At FastlyHealwe will make the topic related to this procedure easier for you, explaining everything about knee arthroscopy: the recovery time necessary to continue performing activities normally, what it is exactly, what the procedure itself is like and some exercises to recover.

What is an arthroscopy and when is it performed?

Arthroscopy is a minor invasive procedure where through some incisions in the area, in this case in the knee, a camera is introduced to fully visualize the joint from the inside , in order to have a diagnosis and treatment according to and necessary.

In order to manipulate the joint from the inside, in addition to the cameras, small pieces and utensils are introduced that allow the area to be fully explored.

Despite being a simple and minimally invasive surgical procedure, it must be performed in an operating room and also have adequate aseptic measures, for this the patient is under anesthesia.

The joint that suffers the most problems in life is the knee and that is why it is the most studied medically. This test is performed to confirm the presumptive diagnosis , in the same way it allows taking a biopsy of the inside of the joint and performing treatments such as:

  • Reconstruction of the cruciate ligaments of the knee, as the injury to them is one of the most frequent knee injuries .
  • Repair of torn menisci .
  • Intra-articular lavage in case of septic arthritis.
  • Treat inflammatory problems of the synovium.

Knee arthroscopy procedure

Despite being an old procedure, and being also used in joints such as shoulder, ankle, elbow and wrist, the place of choice to perform it is in the knee since it allows to diagnose and treat at the same time. Aesthetically, it is a small incision and is less invasive than open surgery.

Like any invasive medical procedure, prior to this, a complete medical evaluation is necessary, identifying problems that may affect the arthroscopy; Despite being a surgical technique, it is performed on an outpatient basis .

This diagnostic and treatment technique can be performed under local anesthesia (inherent to anesthesia applied only to the knee), regional (it numbs half of the body, that is, from the waist down) or general (to completely sleep the patient).

The procedure allows as first to administer a sterile solution to achieve a clear visualization of the interior of the knee joint. Initially, the diagnosis will be made and later the treatment, if necessary, the indispensable instruments are introduced to achieve adequate treatment. Finally, the incisions are closed using sutures or adhesive bands.

Recovery time from knee arthroscopy

The recovery time will depend on what was done in the arthroscopy , that is, on the findings and the treatment performed. To ensure full recovery from knee arthroscopy , it is recommended that you consider a few steps before returning to daily activities.

The first of them consists of immobilization with a compression bandage , this period is usually short of approximately 2 weeks, logically there will be inflammation where it is recommended to keep the leg elevated approximately 45 ° during the first 5 days, also placing local ice to reduce inflammation and the pain.

To reduce the recovery time, it is recommended to keep the wounds clean and dry, with the doctor in charge of determining when to change the covering bandage.

All patients after knee arthroscopy need support with crutches or other assistance. In addition, to improve postoperative time, analgesics are indicated to improve pain after the invasive procedure.

Then, after the first 7 days after knee arthroscopy, the help of the crutches can be gradually withdrawn and, in addition, some exercise routines from the first moment to reduce recovery time.

Knee Arthroscopy Recovery Exercises

To reduce recovery time after knee arthroscopy, it is recommended to practice a series of exercises indicated by the doctor from the first moment the outpatient surgical procedure is performed.

In the initial program of knee arthroscopy recovery exercises, some may be mentioned, such as:

  • The contraction of the hamstring where the patient is instructed to lie down with the knees slightly bent and pressing the heels to contract the muscles of the back of the thigh, in this way a tension can be maintained for approximately 5 seconds. This exercise should be practiced at least 10 times a day from the third day after arthroscopy.
  • The elevation with the extended leg is done by bending the operated knee and extending the knee in which the arthroscopy was performed, it is recommended to raise it approximately 30 degrees and remain at that height for at least 5 seconds, gradually raising it.
  • On the other hand, increasing the intensity of the exercises, it is recommended to perform a quadriceps stretch where the patient stands with the knee that underwent the arthroscopy bent slightly backwards, trying to keep it in this position for at least 5 seconds to stretch the front of the thigh.
  • Finally, another exercise that could be used when recovering after knee arthroscopy after the second week is to go up a step forward, taking into account that it can be done with a bench with a medium height and perform this therapy starting with the operated leg, slowly raising and lowering to the starting position to regain strength.

Recovery time can be slow because muscle enhancement and proprioception of the knee must also be targeted, this will be indicated by the specialist doctor.

Stationary bike exercises for 15 minutes a day or water therapy can be included ; The last phase of rehabilitation is the incorporation of sports where the patient is instructed to practice races, jumps and changes of rhythm, this phase is usually performed 6 weeks after the knee arthroscopy has been performed.

At FastlyHealwe remind you that the person who undergoes this type of invasive medical-surgical diagnosis and treatment must take into account the postoperative problems that may arise; If you do not comply with the adequate recovery time, infection, clot formation and blood accumulation in the knee may occur; In addition to fever, chills, persistent or increasing pain, and significant swelling in the joint, these warning signs indicate immediate medical attention .

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Knee arthroscopy: recovery time , we recommend that you enter our category of Medication and medical tests .

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