Knee Scope Meniscectomy

By Jon Stiffler PTA, Sport Center Manager

Knee Scope Meniscectomy

Read this article to learn about a knee scope meniscectomy.

knee pain

Image of Knee Pain

How Successful Are These Knee Scope Surgeries?

This surgery has a very high success rate. In almost all cases, your recovery will be smooth and relatively quick, allowing you to resume all activities that you want to participate in within 4 to 6 weeks.

Will I Be Completely Fine at the End of Those 4-6 Weeks?

Everyone heals from knee surgery at a different pace; a small number of people still experience pain and swelling several months after surgery.

Do I Need a Knee Brace?

Knee braces after simple arthroscopic knee surgery are rarely used. However, if your surgery involves more than just removal of torn cartilage or meniscus – for example, if you have a meniscal repair – your knee may be placed in a brace after surgery.

When Can I Shower?

You can shower 48 hours after your surgery if there is no drainage from your incisions. However, you will need to cover your incisions to keep them dry. Do not get the incisions wet until after your stitches have been removed. Once the stitches have been removed, you will need to continue to cover the incisions until they have completely healed. Do not scrub directly over your incisions and gently pat the incisions dry after showering.

When Can I Immerse my Knee in Water to Bathe or Swim?

You have to wait until your incisions have completely healed before immersing your knee in water to bathe or swim. Typically this is two weeks after surgery. However, every individual heals differently. You should consult your surgeon prior to this if you have any doubts or concerns.

How Long Will I Be on Pain Medications?

You will likely need some form of pain medication for roughly one or two weeks after surgery. Again, there is a high degree of variability, with some using narcotic medication for less than one week, and others for up to four weeks. Most people are able to wean off narcotic medication in less than two weeks and switch to an over-the-counter pain medication such as Tylenol or ibuprofen.

Do I Need Physical Therapy?

Some but not all patients are sent to physical therapy after knee arthroscopy. Some physicians start two days after surgery. Other physicians prefer to wait until after your first post operative appointment. It depends on the individual, surgeon preference and type of procedures performed.

Should I move my knee after surgery? What exercises should I be doing at home?

You are encouraged to bend and straighten your knee as much as pain allows immediately after standard knee arthroscopy. Remember, however, that your knee may be swollen and achieving full motion is often difficult for the first few days. You may tighten your quadriceps muscle right after surgery and we encourage straight leg raises if they are not too painful.

Quadriceps Muscle

Man Doing Leg With Machine In Gym – Leg Exercises

When Can I Walk on my Leg After Surgery?

Your surgeon should give you instructions on your weight bearing status. Typically, you can put as much weight on your leg as is comfortable immediately after surgery. Due to pain levels, you may need crutches or a walker. Typically you are able to transition to one crutch within a couple days after surgery. However, your physician’s instructions and pain should be your guide.

When Can I Drive?

This depends on which leg you had surgery on. You should consult your physician for final clearance for driving. YOU MUST NOT DRIVE IF YOU ARE TAKING NARCOTICS! If you drive a standard transmission vehicle and had surgery on your left knee, you should probably wait about one or two weeks before driving to avoid causing more pain and irritation from operating the clutch. If you had surgery on your right leg, you should wait to drive until you have enough strength in your right leg to slam on the break in the event of an emergency or unexpected event. If you need to drive long distances within two weeks after your surgery, you should take frequent breaks to stand up, stretch, and walk to decrease the risk of a blood clot forming in your leg.

Should I Use Ice or Heat?

Ice should be used for the first several days, particularly if you have a lot of swelling or discomfort. Ice is also helpful if you develop swelling after exercising. Once the initial swelling has decreased, you may use either ice and/or heat depending on which helps you the most. Some patients report that using heat prior to activities helps “warm up” the knee.

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By: Jon Stiffler, PTA.

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