What to Expect When Undergoing Knee Arthroscopy

It used to be that any repair to your knee entailed an open surgery, which meant months of recovery and a fair degree of immobilization. Thanks to arthroscopy, we’re able to get in and repair your knee using a minimally invasive approach that greatly reduces collateral damage and gets you back up on your feet more quickly.

At Orthopedic Associates of Southwest Florida, board-certified surgeon Dr. Edward R. Dupay, Jr., and our team specialize in tackling the many musculoskeletal issues that can limit your life and cause pain. At the top of the list are knee problems, which given their role in your mobility, can have an incredibly widespread impact on your quality of life. To get you back to an active lifestyle, we offer knee arthroscopy.

Here’s a look at what you should expect when you undergo knee arthroscopy.

The many benefits of arthroscopy

Arthroscopy is both an effective diagnostic and treatment tool because it allows Dr. Dupay to get a first-hand glimpse of the inner structures inside your knee to see where the problem lies. Diagnostic imaging can go a long way toward accomplishing this, but it does have limitations, which isn’t the case with arthroscopy.

Driving this ability is Dr. Dupay’s use of an arthroscope, which is a tiny, lighted camera that provides him with a real-time, 3D view of your knee. To insert the camera, we make only tiny incisions, through which Dr. Dupay threads the instrument. Using other small incisions, Dr. Dupay can insert specialized instruments that translate his movements in the cramped spaces inside your knee to make the necessary repairs.

The end result is that you benefit from a solution that doesn’t create collateral tissue damage in the process, which greatly speeds your recovery. The technique also reduces your risk of infection, and in many cases, Dr. Dupay can perform it using only local anesthesia.

After your arthroscopy

In most cases, we send our patients home on the same day as the arthroscopy, with comprehensive aftercare instructions. For example, to address any discomfort and swelling, we recommend that you turn to over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications and cold compresses.

Depending upon the extent of the work, you should plan on taking it easy for a few days afterward, which means limited movement. But unlike open surgery, we do encourage you to start using your knee as soon as possible, and we’ll let you know when you should take those literal first steps.

While arthroscopy greatly reduces your recovery time, it’s still surgery and you’re still in recovery. Your body heals at its own pace, and we’ve found that a reasonable amount of activity will kick your healing resources into high gear. But too much activity can be detrimental and set you back. In other words, during the first few weeks, we recommend that you slowly build your mobility, but this doesn’t mean that you should hit the pavement for a run.

Rest assured, we’re with you every step of the way to help you strike the right balance after your knee arthroscopy.

If you have more questions, please contact us at 239-256-8738 or request an appointment using our online scheduling tool.

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