Knee arthroscopy

How many cuts (incisions) will I have and how long will they be?

You will have 2 (sometimes 3) incisions made either side of the knee joint measuring 1cm in length; they are closed with nylon stitches (sutures) which are removed 10-14 days after the operation.

Will I need physiotherapy?

You will be seen by a physiotherapist before you leave hospital. In addition, arrangements will be made for you to see a physiotherapist from one week after surgery.

Can I get the knee wet, for example, in the bath?

You may take a shower but not a bath. Once the sutures are removed around 10-14 days after surgery, you can bath again. You will be given some replacement dressings before you leave hospital in case the dressings fall off in the shower.

When will I be able to return to work?

Most patients return to work 10 days after this procedure.

When can I drive?

You can drive again when you have good control of the knee, usually by day 3-5 day after surgery.

What can I expect in the first few days after this operation?

It is likely that the knee will be swollen and sore following arthroscopy, and so you should rest and ice the joint for the first 72 hours after this procedure. The physiotherapist will give you exercises for the initial time after surgery, and you must do these to help the knee get better. Most people limit their activities for the first 3 days after this procedure.

What are the possible complications of this procedure?

Possible complications that may occur, but are very low with this procedure, include:

  • Blood clots developing in the legs (deep vein thrombosis) that can travel up to the lungs (pulmonary embolism).  Precautions are taken to reduce this risk
  • Infection; the chances of this are low and precautions are taken to reduce this risk.