What is arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a surgical procedure that allows your surgeon access to the inside of your knee through several tiny incisions. Your doctor can confirm your diagnosis and repair any injured tissue by using a camera and tools inserted into the joint space.
How is it performed?
Typically two to three small incisions are made through which the tools are placed to perform multiple function. A small fiber optic camera lets your surgeon visualize the injury and confirm your diagnosis. A shaver, trimmer or any other device necessary to repair your knee is inserted opposite the camera. Sometimes a third tool irrigates the joint and if necessary expands it.
What are the risks?
As with any surgery, arthroscopy has risks. These include, but are not limited to, swelling and stiffness, blood clots, bleeding, infection and/or continuing knee problems.
What can I expect before surgery?
A pre-operative physical performed by your primary care provider is required in the thirty days before surgery. If you do not have this done, your surgery will have to be cancelled and rescheduled.
What can I expect after surgery?
Immediately after surgery you will be placed in a recovery room and monitored by a nurse. You can expect your knee to be bandaged and elevated. If after several hours you are awake and alert, a nurse will help you get ready to go home. It is necessary for you to arrange for someone to drive you home. Some patients feel comfortable walking out of surgery while others wish to use crutches. When you are released you will be provided with whatever you feel most comfortable with.
What can I expect while at home?
You should rest, ice, elevate and perform gentle exercises as directed for your knee. Do not spend an extended amount of time standing, walking or taking trips up and down stairs during this time as your knee will likely become more painful and swollen. Medication will be prescribed to you for the post-operative pain. It is your responsibility to have the prescription filled. Prior to surgery, your physician will schedule a postoperative clinic visit. At this time you will discuss the surgical procedure and findings, the need for physical therapy and further activity guidelines.
Cold compression therapy?
Your doctor may prescribe a cold compression therapy unit for you to use post-operatively (Aircast Cryo/Cuff). Integrated cold and compression is clinically proven to reduce post-operative swelling, pain, and help you regain range of motion. Summit Orthopedics believes that the cold compression therapy unit will provide you with the best possible outcome in the days following your surgery.
How long is recovery?
The length of your recovery depends on the procedure performed. You can talk with your Orthopedic Surgeon regarding your specific situation and recovery plan.
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