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Printed at: 05:00:44 / 23-09-2021

Knee Arthroscopy

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What happens during my Surgery?

An Arthroscopy is when a camera is inserted through small ‘key-hole’ incisions in to the knee and used to look inside the joint to asses for any damaged areas. Small instruments can also be used through the incisions if required.

What should I expect following my surgery?

You will aim to walk the day of your surgery independently unless elbow crutches are required. You will see a Physiotherapist before your surgery who will advise you of this. Before your operation your Physiotherapist will supply you with some exercises aimed to increase your muscle strength and restore your movement. Outpatient Physiotherapy will not be routinely be booked unless the Physiotherapist on the ward deems it necessary.

Pain Relief
After surgery there can be a variable amount of swelling and pain, often dependant on the type of surgery performed. This usually diminishes after a few days. You will be provided with painkillers to help with this, it is important that you take them as prescribed to keep pain to a minimum.

Ice can be helpful to reduce pain/swelling. Protect your dressings from getting wet with a plastic bag or cling film. Wrap a bag of Ice/frozen peas in a damp towel and apply for no more than 10-15 minutes. This can be repeated every 3-4 elevating your leg on a few pillows is also useful.

Wound Care
Your wounds will need to be kept clean and dry. If there is excessive bleeding through the dressing, you should contact the ward, GP or local A&E department for advice. If your wound is tender, swollen, warm to touch, any redness around the area or any discharge from the wound and feeling generally unwell with fever please contact your GP. The nursing staff will provide you with more information about wound care on discharge. Your dressing will be reduced the next day by your practice nurse. At this time please book an appointment to have your stitches removed, which is either 10-12 days post op dependent on the consultant instructions.

Returning to Work
If your job involves sitting for the majority of the day you can return after 3 days. If your job is physically demanding and involves heavy manual work or standing for long periods then 1-2 weeks off work may be necessary. Your Consultant or Physiotherapist will be able to advise you of this.

You should not return to driving until your knee is pain free and you have full knee flexion. You MUST be able to perform an emergency stop, and inform your insurance company about the surgery to ensure your cover is valid. This is usually around 5 days after a simple arthroscopy.

Leisure & Sport
This will also depend on the extent of the surgery you have had and what activities you want to return to. Your Consultant or Physiotherapist can advise you further on this.

Further Instructions following your surgery

Complete the following exercises _____ times each day. Stop any that feel unsuitable, and do not push through pain.

Exercise 1
1. Sitting or lying on your back
2. Squeeze your buttocks together.
3. Hold for 5-10 seconds then relax.
Repeat ____ times.

Exercise 2
1. Sit or lie on a firm flat surface with the knee of your affected leg out in front of you.
2. Straighten your affected leg as much as possible by tightening the muscles on top of your thigh.
3. Hold for 5 seconds, and then relax.
Repeat _____ times.

Exercise 3
1. Lie down on your back.
2. Bend the unaffected leg, and keep the affected leg straight.
3. Straighten the affected leg as much as possible, tightening the muscles on top of the thigh.
4. Raise your heel off the surface approximately four inches.
5. Hold for five seconds, then slowly return to the starting position and relax.
Repeat _____ times.

Exercise 4
1. Sit on a firm chair with your feet on the floor.
2. Bend the knee of your affected leg by sliding your heel backwards towards the chair.
3. Hold for 3 seconds, and then try to bend your knee slightly further.
4. Relax your leg forwards.
Repeat ____ times.

Please call the Physiotherapy department between 08.00 -17.00 Monday – Friday on 01908 995432 for help.