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Arthroscopy

ARTHROSCOPY ADVICE SHEET

You must rest for the first 24 hours following your operation. Minimal walking is advised during this period, i.e. walking to the toilet. You may experience some discomfort from the operation site following your surgery. It is therefore important to use regular analgesia and anti-inflammatories to help manage this. The Pharmacist will advise you about medication to take home.

Wound care

24hours after your surgery, it is advisable to remove the bandage and apply a tubigrip over plasters to help reduce swelling. If you have stitches in place, they will be removed in two weeks. Your nurse will discuss this with you.

The wound needs to be kept dry whilst the stitches are in place.  If your Consultant has used steri - strips (small plaster strips) to keep the wound closed, your nurse will provide some spare water proof dressings. You need to keep them dry for about 5 days. Once your scars have healed, massage with cream such as E45, which is unperfumed, for 3-4 minutes daily, to reduce scar thickness and appearance. 

Ice

Ice is important to help prevent the knee from swelling. Apply ice for 25 minutes every 2-3 hours:

Dampen a tea towel: wring out well; place a plastic bag over the skin to keep it dry. Place towel over knee; without this you can burn your skin.

Place a packet of frozen peas/bag of crushed ice on the knee and leave for 20 -30 minutes.  Then re-freeze peas for next treatment.  (Make sure no-one eats the peas once they have been thawed and re-frozen!)  Do not use ice if you have any circulatory problems in your leg or your skin is numb.  Remove immediately if a skin rash appears.

Exercises following your knee arthroscopy

These exercises are to help restore knee movement and muscle power.  Exercise within a pain free range.  There may be some discomfort after completing the exercises, this should settle within ˝ hour.  If it does not, reduce the number of exercises you are doing.

Active Knee Flexion
Start Position: Lying on back leg straight.
Action: Slowly bend your knee, sliding your heel towards your bottom. Bend your knee as far as you are comfortable with.
Repeat: 6-10 times 3 x per day. Increase as able.

Static Quads
Start Position: Lying on back leg straight.
Action: Brace your thigh, firmly pushing the back of your knee into the bed.
Repeat: 6-10 times x 3 per day. Increase as able.

Inner Range Quads
Start Position: Lying on back rolled towel behind knee.
Action: Brace your thigh muscle and push the back of your knee into the towel, straightening the knee.
Repeat: 6-10 times x 3 per day. Increase as able.

Straight Leg Raise
Start Position: Leg straight out in front of you. Brace thigh muscles pushing firmly into bed.
Action: Slowly raise you leg off the bed approximately 3-4 ". Hold and slowly lower.
Repeat: 6-10 times, x3 per day, increase as able.

Walking

You will have been issued with crutches to enable you to take weight through the operated leg. The physiotherapist will have sized them for you.  The following information is to remind you how to use them and to help keep you safe.

The crutches are there to assist the operated leg.  Place both crutches forward, take a step with the operated leg and then move the unoperated leg forward.  Remember not to stride too far, as this will unbalance you.

Continue to use both crutches until you see your Outpatient Physiotherapist.
They will advise you how to progress your walking. You may be advised to remain on your crutches for a little longer, if you have had a Microfracture, Chondroplasty, or lateral release. Your Consultant will advise you of this and your Physiotherapist will be able to offer further written advice.

Stairs

When using crutches on the stairs it is worth remembering the following rhyme:

"Good leg up to heaven; bad leg down to hell!"

Going up stairs:  The good leg (unoperated) steps up first, followed by the operated leg to the same step and then the crutches.

Going down stairs: Crutches first, followed by the operated leg, then unoperated leg (reverse of going up).  If a handrail is available, place both crutches in the free hand like this:












Driving

For your own safety and the safety of others, do not drive until you can fully bend your knee, your pain has settled and you feel capable to perform an "emergency stop".  Please ask your Consultant when they are happy for you to resume driving.

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For further information and advice:
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info@shoulder-and-bone.co.uk
 

Alternatively, please call Michele Murphy:
T: 02392 352 206

 
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