Arthroscopic surgery allows orthopedic surgeons to look inside a joint and make the necessary repairs through an incision that is only the size of a buttonhole. This revolutionary type of outpatient surgery requires less cutting through tissues, thereby causing less bleeding during the operation and less scarring afterward.
More than 600,000 arthroscopic surgeries are performed every year in the United States, the most common of which is knee arthroscopy. Its popularity among surgeons and patients is based on its lower infection risk, reduced pain after surgery, and faster recovery time.
If you are thinking about getting arthroscopic surgery, you may be wondering what the recovery is going to be like and how long it will be before you can get back to your normal life. Let’s talk about what it’s like after having one of the various types of arthroscopic surgeries.
Life After Arthroscopy
The moment you wake up from surgery, you will feel numb and groggy just like after any other type of operation. The anesthesia will begin to wear off, and you will then start taking pain medication.
A physical therapist will soon begin working with you, helping you get out of bed and showing you how to start safely moving the affected joint and limb as it heals. The therapist may provide assistive devices, such as a walker or a brace, to assist you during the first days or weeks of postoperative recovery.
As you recover, you may experience some swelling, bruising, and discharge in and around the operation site, which is normal. It is recommended that you keep your limb which had the surgical repairs elevated, ideally at a level higher than your heart, in order to help reduce swelling and facilitate natural drainage from the surgical area fostered by gravity.
You will have postoperative dressing and bandages, and your doctor will give you instructions for care and removal. Generally, you should keep the incision site from getting wet for two weeks.
Getting Plenty of R&R During Recovery
Rest is a key part of recovery, and you should rest as much as possible. Your doctor will advise you beforehand about how much time you will need to take off from work while you recover and heal. The outcome of the surgery will largely depend on how strictly you follow your surgeon’s instructions.
There will be a temporary limitation on the types of activities you can do while you recover. Follow your physical rehabilitation program, and take your pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon for optimum outcomes. Follow-up care is also a critical component of recovery, so be sure not to miss any follow-up appointments.
Arthroscopic Surgeons in West Jersey
Our medical team here at Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey will determine whether arthroscopic surgery would be beneficial for treating your specific condition, or whether a different type of treatment would be best in your case. We fully explain to our patients what to expect during and after the treatment, so they are empowered to make the decision regarding how to proceed – whether surgically or nonsurgically.
To schedule a consultation, call Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey today at (973) 989-0888 or request an appointment now via our online form. We look forward to seeing you here and helping you get back to feeling as good as new.