- Decrease pain and swelling
- Restore normal range of movement
- Restore normal muscle strength
- Progress to a return to normal daily activities
Most arthroscopies are carried out as day case surgery.
You will usually be able to fully weight bear without the use of crutches or other walking aids.
It is common to experience some pain, and swelling, depending on the exact procedure.
Swelling causes pressure on the surrounding structures which can impair muscle function and restrict range of movement (ROM).
Early movement of the knee helps to activate the muscles thus helping to increase the circulation to the knee. Exercises performed with the leg raised will also aid in the reduction of swelling whilst you begin to move the joint and strengthen the knee muscles.
The exercises below should be used as a guide to aid in your recovery; however it is important to follow the advice of your physiotherapist in this early phase and be guided by them.
1. Knee Flexion
- Sit up straight in a chair, with your feet resting on the floor; put a slide sheet under your foot, or carrier bag. Using your foot slide your foot under the chair by bending your knee as far as you can.
- Hold it there for a few seconds before straightening the leg. Repeat 10 times.
2. Static Quadriceps Contraction (Thigh Squeeze)
- Sit or lie with your legs straight out in front of you and pull you toes upwards. Tense the thigh muscles to try and push the back of your knee against the underlying surface.
- Hold for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
3. Inner range Quadriceps
- Lie on your back and place a rolled up towel under your knee.
- Gently push your knee down on to the towel and lift your heel up off the floor/bed until your leg is out straight.
- Hold that position for 5 seconds and repeat 10 times.
4. Straight Leg Raise
- Lie on your back with the operated leg straight tout and the other knee bent with that foot resting on the bed/floor.
- Lift your operated leg about 5cm up, keeping it straight.
- Hold for a 3-5 seconds before lowering – repeating the exercise 10 times.
- All of these exercises should be carried out roughly three times a day, or as instructed by your physiotherapist.
- Where possible, elevate the limb when sitting or when applying ice. Ice or cold packs can be used to help minimise swelling in your knee and are often good for pain relief too. Your physiotherapist will give you the correct information regarding the application and timing of ice therapy.
- Your exercise programme will be devised according to your individual needs. The aims are to encourage normal walking and to progress to a more functional strengthening programme.
- This will depend upon your level of function before surgery and your own individual goals.
- Full recovery after a simple knee arthroscopy can take from 2 to 6 weeks.