POSTOPERATIVE KNEE ARTHROSCOPY PATIENT INFORMATION
ACTIVITIES: Unless otherwise instructed, you are encouraged to bear as much weight as possible and to discontinue your crutches when you feel comfortable and have regained confidence in your knee.
DRESSING: After surgery, a bulky dressing, a compression stocking. Sometimes an ice cuff will be applied to your knee. It is normal to have a moderate amount of blood-tinted-fluid drainage on the dressing. Remove the dressing 24 hours after the surgery, leave the Steri-Strip tapes in place. Cover the incisions with Band-Aids or gauze. You will be given 2 stockings before you leave the hospital. After you remove the dressing on the day after surgery, put on the stocking (on the operative leg) and wear it at all times. You may change to the clean one if the first one gets dirty. The stocking prevents swelling in the knee and calf as well as blood clots and helps you get better quicker.
ICE CUFF: Follow the instructions with the cuff to keep it cold. Wear the cuff continuously for 48 hours postoperatively and then after exercising or to help with pain and swelling at least a few times a day.
DRIVING: You may drive once you are off your crutches and your pain medication and walking normally. You must be able to brake firmly and comfortably.
SHOWERING: You may shower by covering the knee with a plastic bag and taping it securely to the top to prevent moisture from soaking the bandages or wounds. Never allow your incisions to get wet as this may predispose you to developing an infection.
MEDICATION: Although you have a prescription for a strong pain medication, many patients are able to handle the discomfort postoperatively with a milder pain medication such as Extra-Strength Tylenol. We prefer that you avoid aspirin containing medications in the immediate postoperative period as these can increase the tendency for bleeding.
EXERCISE: Exercises are extremely important following arthroscopic surgery to help you regain the motion, strength, and flexibility of your knee. You will be instructed by a physical therapist before you leave the hospital on an exercise routine that you are to perform on your own at home. We encourage you to move your knee as normally as possible to help with the return of your flexibility and motion.
FOLLOW-UP: Call the appointment desk in the office at 713-441-3560 to arrange for your first postoperative visit which should be 7-10 days after your surgery. Oran Hartwell, my Physicians Assistant, will probably see you on your first post-op visit to check your incisions, remove sutures, and begin therapy if needed.
Please contact my office at 713-441-3560 should you have a postoperative problem especially if there are any signs of infection, redness, severe pain, fever, etc.
Revised June 19, 2008