Arthroscopic knee surgery involves the use of highly advanced techniques for repairing the inner structures of the knee that have sustained a severe injury. It can be used to diagnose and repair damaged ligaments and cartilage, fix fractures, or remove inflamed synovial tissue. The surgery has a high success rate in achieving the goals of pain reduction and restoration of function.
Preparation is important before any type of surgery. Operating surgeons work closely with patients and ensure they understand what needs to be done to ensure successful surgery outcomes and a reduction in the risk of complications.
Below, we talk about how patients can prepare for their arthroscopic knee surgery. If you have any further questions or specific concerns about the procedure, please address them to your orthopedic care team.
Talk to The Orthopedic Surgeon
It is natural to have some questions and a bit of anxiety before surgery. Discussing any concerns with your operating surgeon and care team can help in alleviating anxiety you may have about arthroscopic knee surgery. It helps to learn as much as you can about the procedure, including the type of anesthetic to be used, the length of the procedure, the risks of surgery, and the length and intensity of the recovery process.
Discuss post-operative care instructions with your surgeon. Understand the recovery timeline, restrictions on activities, and physical therapy and rehabilitation requirements after surgery. Plan ahead for your follow-up appointments.
Have a Pain Management Plan
Discuss pain management options with your healthcare team before the surgery. Effectively managing pain has a significant impact on the quality of your post-operative recovery. You need to understand what pain relief strategies are available for you, such as medications and other techniques, that can help you feel more at ease and ensure effective pain control during the recovery period.
Eat Healthy, Live Healthy
Prioritize a healthy lifestyle before arthroscopic knee surgery. Eat a balanced diet rich in nutrients to support healing and strengthen your immune system. If you smoke, seriously consider quitting, as smoking can impair the healing process. In the months leading up to the surgery, try to reduce extra stress placed on the knee joint, and avoid gaining weight.
Review Your Medications
Inform your orthopedic surgeon about any medications you are currently taking, including prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamin supplements, and herbal medicines.
Some medications may need to be adjusted or temporarily discontinued before surgery, particularly blood-thinning medications like aspirin or certain anticoagulants, as these can raise the risk of uncontrolled bleeding.
Ask Your Orthopedic Care Team About Prehabilitation Exercises
To increase operative outcomes, you may want to engage in a pre-operative exercise program recommended by a physical therapist. This is also called “prehabilitation,” which has been shown to improve the recovery of knee surgery patients. Targeted exercises have been shown to help reduce the risk of muscle atrophy, postoperative stiffness, and leads to a decrease in length of recovery time.
Fast Before the Knee Arthroscopy
Your surgeon will provide instructions regarding fasting requirements before the surgery. Typically, you’ll be asked to avoid eating or drinking anything, including water, for a specified period before the procedure. Adhering to fasting instructions is essential to reduce the risk of complications from the anesthesia used during surgery.
Make Arrangements for Assistance After Knee Surgery
Since you will still be feeling the effects of anesthesia and may have limited mobility after arthroscopic knee surgery, you need some assistance in getting home after surgery. The facility will likely not release you without a trusted companion to take you home. Therefore, arrange for someone – a family member, friend, or caregiver – to take you home after the surgery.
Prepare Your Home For Recovery
Prepare your home environment for a smooth and accident-free recovery. Create a clean and comfortable space, arrange necessities in close reach, and consider mobility aids like crutches or a walker, if necessary. Clear pathways of any obstacles to prevent falls or accidents.
Commit to Your Physical Therapy Program
Every patient undergoing arthroscopic knee surgery will need physical therapy afterward. Patients typically start working with a licensed physical therapist soon after surgery, even if it’s just passive exercises initially. One of the great advantages of arthroscopic knee surgery is you should be able to bear weight on the knee and walk by yourself, with assistance of crutches, if necessary.
You will be given physical therapy exercises to do at home and report every so often to the physical therapist, so they can measure your progress and determine if you can move on to the next phase. Slowly, you will regain strength, flexibility, and range of motion and get to your pre-surgery level of function.
The added benefits of physical therapy include pain relief, as the exercises get the blood circulating and stimulate the release of the body’s natural painkillers. Physical therapy can also help prevent overreliance on pain medication.
Seek Out Support
Reach out to your family and friends for support and help while in recovery.Communicating your needs to your support network and seeking out emotional support can ease the recovery process, reduce frustration and limitations, and enhance your overall experience of recovery and rehabilitation from arthroscopic knee surgery.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery in Bismarck, North Dakota
The orthopedic surgeons at The Bone & Joint Center in North Dakota are highly experienced in performing arthroscopy to treat a range of conditions causing knee pain. In most cases, they can perform this as an outpatient procedure, so you can return home on the same day as the procedure.
Our doctors will determine if you are a good candidate for the procedure and commit to helping you achieve the best outcomes from this cutting-edge treatment. You will have a caring orthopedic team throughout your journey to improved knee joint pain and function.
To schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic surgeons, call our office today at (701) 946-7400 / (866) 900-8650, or use our online form to make a request.