4 Things You Need To Know About Arthroscopic Knee Surgery

If you have pain in your knee or have suffered an injury, you may need to have surgery to repair the damage. When possible, many orthopedic specialists opt to perform arthroscopic knee surgery.

Arthroscopic knee surgery is a procedure that inserts an instrument (referred to as an arthroscope) into a small incision in your knee. The arthroscope usually has a camera and surgical tools attached to it so that the doctor can fix whatever is causing you to experience discomfort. If your orthopedist advises you to have arthroscopic surgery, here are a few important details that you need to know.

1. You May be Awake During the Procedure

The type of anesthesia that your orthopedic specialist chooses to use depends on your procedure and reactions or preferences that you have towards anesthesia. For lengthy or in-depth surgeries, you will likely undergo general anesthesia. However, if your procedure is relatively minor, your doctor may opt to administer a spinal or local anesthesia. A spinal will numb you from the waist down, while local anesthesia numbs only the area around the surgical site. 

2. Downtime After the Procedure is Minimal

One of the reasons that doctors recommend arthroscopic knee procedures is that the recovery process is much quicker than that of more intensive surgeries. As long as there are no complications, you can return home the day of your surgery. Your doctor may recommend that you attend physical therapy to aid in your recovery and strengthen your knee.

It can take four to six weeks for the knee to completely recover. Though this may sound like a lengthy period of time, realize that patients who have more complex procedures often take months to recover.

The amount of time that you need off work varies based on the activity level of your position. If you have a sedentary position where you sit most of the day, you may be able to resume working after two or three weeks. Patients who have physical positions will likely need to take the entire four to six weeks off.

3. The Procedure is Quick

Though the exact length of your procedure will vary based on what you are having done, most arthroscopic knee surgeries take less than an hour. You do need to factor in additional time for completing pre-op procedures, the administering of anesthesia, and coming out of anesthesia.

4. Arthroscopic Knee Surgery is a Low-Risk Procedure

There are very few risks associated with arthroscopic knee surgery, and many of these risks are associated with any type of surgical procedure. Infection, an allergic reaction to the anesthesia, and heavy bleeding are some of the risks common to all surgical procedures.

The development of blood clots around the knee and damage to the tissues surrounding the knee area are risks unique to arthroscopic knee surgery. Contact a medical office like Valley View for more information and assistance.