Did your last tennis game leave you with an extensive shoulder injury? Maybe you’ve torn your rotator cuff or injured your knee on the basketball court. You want to get back into the game as soon as possible.
For many injuries, arthroscopic surgery is a viable treatment option that is minimally invasive and highly effective.
At Raleigh Bone and Joint Surgery Clinic, we’re proud to offer the latest, state-of-the-art arthroscopic surgical treatment to help us treat and diagnose problems within your joints. It also produces successful outcomes, especially for arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery.
Not sure what to expect after arthroscopic knee surgery? We’ve got the answers you need as well as 8 distinct advantages of utilizing this minimally invasive surgical technique.
What Is Arthroscopic Surgery?
This procedure is instrumental in diagnosing joint problems. It involves making a narrow incision and inserting a thin tube (called an arthroscope) that is attached to a tiny, fiber-optic video camera. Then the images are relayed to a video monitor so one of our orthopedic surgeons in Raleigh can carefully evaluate the problem area.
Depending upon the extent and scope of the injury, your surgeon may be able to repair the problem using small surgical instruments that are also inserted through very small incisions. It’s particularly useful in arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery.
Next, we’ll take a closer look at eight of the main advantages of arthroscopic surgery.
8 Advantages of Arthroscopic Surgery
1. Smaller incisions
Because the arthroscope only needs a tiny incision, your recovery is faster. There’s also less blood loss as compared to an “open” procedure where larger incisions have to be made.
2. It can be performed as an outpatient
Due to its minimally invasive technique, arthroscopic surgery can be performed as an outpatient. This is not only more economical, but it also means that you can return home several hours after the surgery.
3. You can return to work faster
Not only can you return home a few hours after your procedure, but in general, many patients resume work and regular activities within a few days. (However, athletes and those who are very active in sports may need to wait a few weeks before returning to their routine.) This is one of the key benefits of arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery.
4. It minimizes trauma to healthy tissue
With a traditional, “open” procedure, some tissue may need to be cut to give the orthopedic surgeon access to the problem area.
5. Less scarring
Because arthroscopic surgery is conducted using tiny incisions, it minimizes scar tissue because the surgeon is able to easily adjust the tiny tools to get access to the problem area. This means less damage to healthy tissue.
When the procedure is completed, you’ll only have evidence of a small incision where the arthroscope was placed.
6. Reduced risk of infection
Because the incisions are so small, less internal tissue is exposed, which greatly reduces the risk of infection.
7. Less postoperative pain
It’s common to experience some discomfort and pain after any surgery. However, with arthroscopic surgery, the postoperative pain is much less because the incisions were so small. It’s one of the great benefits of arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery.
8. Less blood loss during surgery
After arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery, patients find that they have lost less blood than they would have with an “open” procedure. This is because arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive.
What to Expect After Arthroscopic Knee Surgery
Arthroscopic knee surgery and recovery varies according to each patient’s individual situation. There is no magic formula to determine how long it will take you to fully recover.
However, we have compiled this general guideline on what to expect after arthroscopic knee surgery.
The week of the surgery, you’ll find that you may be able to walk with minimal pain. As we discussed, this is because the arthroscope uses small incisions instead of one large “open” incision. During this first week, you’ll likely need to use a walker or cane. This will help take some of the pressure off your knee.
During this time, we’ll examine you to monitor how your healing is progressing. At this point, we may recommend physical therapy, depending upon your individual situation.
Arthroscopic Knee Surgery and Recovery: When Can I Return to Work?
This is perhaps the most common question we receive, and there is no one answer. A lot of it depends upon the type of work you do. For example, someone who has a desk job will be able to return to work sooner than someone who has a job that requires a lot of manual labor. In general, you can return to work within two to six weeks after surgery. The most important thing to remember is to speak with us before you begin working. Failure to do so could cause you to re-injure yourself.
Within three to four months after surgery, you’ll notice great improvements in both your strength and range of motion. While you still may have swelling and pain, you’ll be well on your way to enjoying some of your regular activities. However, please speak with us before you engage in any high-contact sports, as these could lead to reinjury.
The Raleigh Bone Joint Surgery Clinic Is the Area’s Leader in Arthroscopic Surgery
All of our board-certified orthopedic surgeons in Raleigh have received extensive training and are experts in arthroscopic surgery. We’ve worked with hundreds of area patients to help them return to the activities they once loved. Because arthroscopic surgery is minimally invasive, you can expect to return to work faster with minimal pain and scarring.
Want to discover more? Just contact us to schedule an appointment.