Recovery for arthroscopic knee surgery?

I am having arthroscopic knee surgery next week, and I'm getting a little nervous.

I am 29yr old, healthy woman, I do have asthma.

I have a hole in my cartilage that needs to be fixed.

So I was wondering (from your experience, or someone you know. or medical experience)...

1. What is the average recovery time?

2. Will I be stuck in bed for 2 weeks (this is what I've heard)

3. Will I be sent home with a cast or an immobilizer, on my leg?

4. Will there be a drain from my knee after surgery?

5. How long must I wait before taking a shower (getting my knee wet)?

6. How long will I be in the recovery room?

7. When can I drive again? (since it's my right knee)

Thank you, if you have any other info for me, that would be great!

2 Answers

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago
    Favorite Answer


    I'm sorry about your knee. When you say cartilage are you referring to your meniscus? I'm 17 and I has arthroscopic knee surgery last year for a badly torn meniscus. Maybe I can help some.

    1) Recovery time is hard to answer because I'm not sure what cartilage you're referring to. Is the hole a tear? Will they repair it? For me, my meniscus tear was removed as it was too significant to repair. Recovery for a meniscus tear that's being removed is 4-6 weeks. Recovery for a meniscus tear that's repaired is 4-6 months. Again, the cartilage that you're referring to may be totally different. Your orthopedic surgeon will be able to provide you with the recovery time.

    2) I don't think you'll be stuck in bed for 2 weeks. You'll definitely be laid up on the couch a couple days after surgery, but I doubt you'll be laid up. You'll probably be on crutches to move around.

    3) You won't have a cast. If you get something, it'll be a brace/immobilizer. For me, I didn't have anything like that. Oh and your knee will probably be wrapped in gauze and an ace bandage.

    4) Nope, I doubt you'll have a drain. You can ask your surgeon this on the day of surgery, but I highly doubt it.

    5) For me, I was supposed to keep my ace bandage on my knee for 48 hours after surgery. After that, I was able to remove the gauze pads and shower. I bathed before that by hanging my surgery leg outside the tub. It'll say in your post-op instructions you're given, but for me it was 48 hours after surgery. Then when I showered, I didn't have to cover my incisions up. It was fine as long as I didn't submerge my leg and soak it in water.

    6) After surgery? Well, once you're awake from anesthesia and aware, they'll let you go. Some hospitals make sure you use the restroom before you leave. After surgery, you'll probably be in recovery for an hour or so. They may also offer you something to eat or drink before you leave too.

    7) You'll have to be the judge of that, and your surgeon can give you an idea.

    Here is a general idea of what to expect:

    So, you'll get to the surgery center an hour and a half before your surgery. You'll check in and wait in the waiting room with your parents. Then a nurse will come and get you and take you back. There you'll be weighed, and your height, temperature and blood pressure will be taken. You'll be brought to a curtained room and given a gown to change into. You'llI put on the gown and get into bed. Then it is time for your nurse to insert the IV. The IV will probably be put in the back of your hand. Before the IV is inserted, they numb that area first. So, your nurse may inject the area with numbing medicine. This feels like a small pinch and then it burns for about 10 seconds tops, but it wasn't bad. Then she will insert the IV. I felt no pain whatsoever when the IV was inserted. Just a weird tugging sensation, but no pain. Then your nurse might paint your knee with this orange disinfectant liquid that dries. She might also mark your leg that is going to be operated on with a skin marker. When I had my surgery, my nurse drew a smiley face on my big toenail and a star on my ankle. Then, your anesthesiologist will come in to talk to you. He will explain what will happen during surgery and how he is going to put you to sleep. My anesthesiologist had asked me what leg was going to be operated on. (A lot of people will most likely do this. This is to be sure the right leg will be operated on. They're not forgetting; they do this on purpose.) So I told him and he used the skin marker and drew a squiggly line down the side of my shin. After that, the surgeon will come in to see you. He will explain the procedure and what is going to happen. My surgeon had also asked me which leg was going to be operated on. He took the skin marker and wrote his initials above and below my knee. After you finish talking, he'll leave. You'll be in bed waiting to be taken in for surgery. Then, your anesthesiologist and an OR nurse will come get you. Before the wheel you off, a relaxing medicine is injected through the IV. This is to relax you and calm you. It will also make you feel sleepy. You'll say bye to your parents and then will be wheeled off. When you get into the OR, it is full of a lot of equipment and bright lights. It's also cold in there. They wheel your bed up against the operating table and you'll move over onto the operating table. The OR nurse and anesthesiologist will get you ready. They will cover you in blankets, put EKG patches on your chest, a pulsoximeter on your finger and a blood pressure cuff on your arm. Then they will lay your arms out on the arm boards. (The arm boards come out the side of the table, so you're laying like how Jesus was on the cross.) Your anesthesiologist will sit down in a chair behind your head. He might hand you a mask

    Source(s): I've had arthroscopic knee surgery.
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