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Frequently Asked Questions After Knee Arthroscopy

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Can I take a shower?
After 48 hours from surgery, you may take a shower, provided the knee remains covered and dressings dry. We recommend patients use long leg cast cover or wrap the knee in glad press and seal which appears more resistant to water. DO NOT REMOVE THE STERI STRIPS (BUTTERFLY TAPES) UNTIL 14 DAYS AFTER SURGERY. No immersion in water is allowed for 14 days post op. This means – No soaking the leg in a bathtub, hot tub whirlpool or swimming in the ocean/pool.

Can I Drive?
If surgery was performed on your left leg and you drive an automatic transmission car, you may drive within 2-3 days of surgery as long as you are not taking the narcotic pain medication. If you had surgery on the right leg, or drive a manual transmission, you may drive once you have adequate strength in the leg. This usually occurs between 7 and 10 days post op. We recommend you test your driving ability in an empty parking lot with supervision until you determine whether or not you can drive safely.

When do I start Therapy?
Therapy should begin after your first post operative visit. You should call for an appointment immediately after your first post operative visit. Therapy can be done anywhere that is convenient and paid for by your insurance. A list of facilities is available.

Do I need crutches?
UNLESS INSTRUCTED OTHERWISE – we encourage full weight bearing immediately post op. This means you may put FULL WEIGHT on the leg. YOU DO NOT NEED CRUTCHES. We prefer that you put weight on the leg to maintain strength and to encourage healing to occur. If you need crutches to steady yourself, this is fine.

Do I need pain medication?
Most patients use the Percocet for the first few days after surgery. Most patients change over to Tylenol or Advil during the first 7-10 days. Some patients require pain medication for longer periods of time.

My leg hurts! I thought I’d be better right away!
Most people’s expectations following a knee scope is that they will be back to normal within a day or two. This is not what most people experience. Although some people feel much better right away, many people notice they are not back to normal for 4 weeks or more. This is especially true for those who have “wear and tear” and degenerative findings. The knee is swollen and sore for several weeks. Don’t judge the effectiveness of the surgery until you have given the knee ample time to recover from the surgery

How long until I can do my normal activities?
Common sense is the rule. In most cases, you cannot damage the knee by doing too much, however, you CAN make it hurt and swell. If you do something that makes it swell and hurt, don’t panic. You probably overdid it a little. Use ice and rest the knee.

What should I worry about?
The most serious complication that can occur after arthroscopy is a blood clot in the calf. This is easily prevented if you avoid lying in bed for days after surgery and instead walk around a little. Some muscle soreness in the calf is normal because you are walking in an unusual way following surgery. You’ll know you may have a clot if you have swelling in your whole leg, redness and exquisite tenderness in the calf. This complication is rare, but should be taken seriously. As always – if you are concerned call the office.

When will my appointments be?
Routine post op appointments occur at 7-14 days after surgery and then at 4 – 6 weeks after surgery.

Can I get a note for Work or School?
Notes for missing school and work are available upon request.