The Joint Clinic

Recovery From Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is a surgical technique that is performed to diagnose and/or treat joint abnormalities. Knee arthroscopy is a very effective procedure for treating knee problems. Over four million arthroscopies are performed worldwide each year.

Here is some basic information and guide about recovery after a Knee Arthroscopy and is essentially very helpful for anyone who has or is to undergo a knee arthroscopic surgery.

Knee Arthroscopy is not very invasive. For most people, the procedure takes around an hour. Due to the small incision made during surgery there is reduced damage to the surrounding muscles, tendons and ligaments and hence healing time after arthroscopic surgery is generally less than conventional knee surgery. After the surgery, the patient is transferred to a recovery room before returning to the ward. Most patients are however in the state to return home that very day or few hours after the procedure, but some may have to stay in the hospital overnight for observation. Person, who has undergone a knee Arthroscopy is suggested not to drive, instead should be collected from the hospital.

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Some swelling in the patient’s knee is to be expected, application of an ice pack for every 20 to 30 minutes may help to reduce swelling in the knee. It is also advised to keep your leg elevated when seated for the first few days after surgery to help reduce swelling and pain.

A surgical dressing is used to cover the incisions; it can be accordingly removed within few days from the time of surgery. The area should be kept clean and dry, so avoid soaking in a bath or directing water at the incisions. A waterproof dressing is often provided to allow bathing; Showering is usually permitted only if your surgeon agrees.

Regular Exercising is important, as most of the knee’s strength comes from the muscles surrounding it and not from tendons or ligaments. You will do no harm to the knee by doing strengthening exercises as recommended by your surgeon or physiotherapist and it is important that these exercises are be performed according to directions to avoid any kind of pains.

Driving after the surgery is possible once your knee feels comfortable.

If you are prescribed antibiotics, take the complete course as your surgeon advises. Painkillers may also be prescribed at times which should be taken as directed.

Follow Up is always important. Your surgeon will advise you about a follow-up visit and removal of stitches. The length of time off work depends on yourlevel of activity you do and should be discussed with the surgeon.


Most people are able to return to their daily activities in six to eight weeks. Any sport that involves significant weight-bearing stresses or twisting movements must be avoided until approved by your surgeon. cartilage and ligament repair often results in a nearly normal knee. Exercises that have less impact on knee include swimming, cycling, and walking.
Maintaining a normal body weight and a healthy diet are also important for the long-term care of knees.