Knee arthroscopy is used for the treatment of meniscal (cartilage) tears of the knee.
Meniscal injuries of the knee are one of the most common orthopaedic injuries we see in our surgical practice today. The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee that cushions the joint, like a shock absorber.
When you cause an injury to the meniscus, you lose the cushion that protects your knee joint, resulting in pain and stiffness on movement and your knee might even ‘lock up’ when you are walking. Common causes of meniscal injuries include activities that involve twisting or pivoting at the knee.
Meniscal injuries are very common in professional athletes or anyone who plays a lot of football, basketball, tennis and golf. They are also frequently experienced by anyone who participates in contact sports, and in members of the armed forces, due to the nature of their training and combative profession.
This type of orthopaedic surgery is also called keyhole surgery and involves two 1cm cuts in the front of the knee. A fibre optic camera is inserted through one of the 1cm cuts and our working instruments are inserted through the other.
This is generally a low risk operation and most patients are discharged the same day as the orthopaedic surgery on the Gold Coast.
These are your post-operative instructions from Dr Hartley for the period following your arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery.
The four most common questions we are asked by our patients are:
Should I move or exercise after arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery?
How long do I leave my dressings on my knee after arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery?
What pain relief medication can I use after arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery?
How long until I can drive again following arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery?
We will answer these questions in turn below:
During the first two weeks after surgery, you really need to try and let your knee rest. You can walk on your knee, so long as it is not too painful, but rest is paramount.
Some patients need to use crutches for a few weeks, so please do so if you need the extra support. As far as formal exercises are concerned, you don’t need to perform any particular exercises at this stage.
It is important that you keep your dressings on your knee for at least 48hrs. If they become loose or dirty, you can remove the outer crepe and wool bandage.
However, you must leave the sticky dressings on until your next follow-up appointment with Dr Hartley. The sticky dressings are splash-proof, so you can still have a shower - but do not stream water directly onto the dressing.
You can take simple analgesics, such as Panadol Osteo regularly and Endone for breakthrough pain. Also, make sure to take your other regular medications as prescribed by your doctor.
If your knee is more painful after 3-4 days, please phone Dr Hartley’s practice for advice.
If the surgery is on your left knee and you drive an automatic car, you can drive as soon as you can safely get in and out of the car.
In all other cases, you can drive as soon as you can stand safely on the operated leg – making sure that you can stand and lift your good leg off the ground for five seconds.
For more information on what to do after arthroscopy (keyhole) knee surgery, please call our receptionist - Annie Thomas on 1300 447 563 or complete our online enquiry form.