What is a Knee Arthroscopy?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive operation to repair a damaged joint. The surgeon examines the joint with an arthroscope (joint camera) while making repairs through a small incision.
You may have a knee arthroscopy to investigate or repair knee joint problems such as meniscus tears, some ligament repairs and joint injuries (e.g. mild arthritis). Compared with open surgery, arthroscopy has a faster recovery time.
What to Expect Post-Arthroscopy
Initially, you will experience some swelling and pain in the knee for a few days post-operatively. You will most likely be given a prescription for pain medication and an anti-inflammatory drug to help alleviate these symptoms.
If you need pain relief, you may be able to take over-the-counter painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen. Always read the patient information that comes with your medicine and if you have any questions, ask your pharmacist or doctor for advice.
Ice packs applied for 20 minutes every 2 to 4 hours will assist your pain and swelling. You should apply a cold compress such as ice or a bag of frozen peas wrapped in a towel to help reduce swelling and bruising. Don’t apply ice directly to your skin, as it can damage your skin.
If possible, keep your foot and knee elevated above your heart to allow gravity to assist your swelling reduction.
Depending on your specific surgery, most post-arthroscopic patients are permitted to weight-bear. It is important to avoid aggravating your knee by too much weight-bearing or walking during the initial healing phase.
Your physiotherapist or surgeon will guide you. Follow your surgeon’s or physiotherapist’s advice about driving. It would be best if you didn’t drive until you’re confident that you could perform an emergency stop without discomfort. This is usually about one to three weeks after your operation.
Your recovery time will depend on what, if any, treatment your surgeon performs on your knee joint. You should be able to resume your usual activities after six to eight weeks, depending on the severity of your knee problems and your level of fitness.
What are the Risks?
Knee arthroscopy is commonly performed and generally safe. However, you need to be aware of the possible side effects and the risk of complications of this procedure.
Fortunately, most people aren’t affected. The possible complications of any operation include an unexpected reaction to the anaesthetic, a wound infection, excessive bleeding or developing a blood clot, usually in a vein in the leg (DVT).
Arthroscopy complications can include:
- accidental damage to the inside of your joint
- loss of feeling in the skin over your knee
- bleeding into your joint
- the surgery may not be successful, or it may have to be repeated.
Why is Post-Arthroscopy Physiotherapy Important?
After undergoing knee arthroscopy, it is important to begin exercising your knee immediately to restore strength and a full range of motion.
Initial exercises should be non-weight bearing in nature and should focus on gentle strengthening of the muscles surrounding the knee and increasing joint range of motion.
You should expect to feel a gentle stretch while performing your beginning exercises, but you should not experience any pain. Any activity that causes significant discomfort should be stopped immediately. It is also a good idea to ice and elevates your leg after performing these exercises to decrease any increase in swelling.
Your physiotherapist aims to safely return you to the best function possible for your knee in the shortest time. They will guide you through their professional expertise to maximise your surgical outcome. If you have any questions, please ask your physiotherapist.
What are the Goals of Physiotherapy Treatment?
The general aims of your post-operative physiotherapy include the following:
- Control pain, swelling, and hemarthrosis (bleeding into your knee joint).
- Regain normal knee joint range of motion.
- Progress your function from non-weight bear to full-weight bear.
- Activate your Vastus Medialis muscle (inner quads) & correct any patella (kneecap) malalignment to avoid future patellofemoral joint syndrome or arthritis.
- Regain a normal walking pattern (gait).
- Regain normal lower extremity strength. Regain full lower limb muscle length.
- Regain normal proprioception, balance, and coordination for daily activities.
- Restore any work or sport-specific function, e.g. squatting, kneeling, running or jumping/landing.
- Achieve the maximum level of function based on the orthopaedic and your goals.
If you have any questions, please ask your knee surgeon or physiotherapist.
Knee Pain Causes
A Comprehensive Guide
Knee pain is often a symptom of underlying issues ranging from acute injuries to systemic health conditions. Identifying knee pain causes is essential for effective treatment. This guide offers an overview of potential culprits, providing a pathway to understanding and addressing your knee discomfort.
Knee Ligament Injuries
Ligament injuries, such as ACL and PCL tears, are significant knee pain causes. They can lead to instability and severe discomfort, requiring prompt medical evaluation.
- ACL Injury
- PCL Injury
- MCL Sprain
- LCL Sprain
- Posterolateral Corner Injury
- Superior Tibiofibular Joint Sprain
- Symptoms of a Torn Ligament
- Walking with a Torn Ligament
An ACL injury is a common sports-related knee injury that can lead to long-term knee pain and require surgical intervention.
- Is Surgery Needed?
- Living Without an ACL
- Main Function of the ACL
- Untreated ACL Injury
- Symptoms of an ACL Tear
- Diagnosing an ACL Tear
- Best Surgery for ACL Tear
- Post-ACL Reconstruction Rehabilitation
Knee Meniscus Injuries
Meniscus tears, often caused by twisting or turning quickly, are prevalent knee pain causes, with treatment options varying based on severity.
Pain in the kneecap can arise from various conditions, affecting your ability to engage in daily activities comfortably.
- Chondromalacia Patella
- Fat Pad Syndrome
- Patella Dislocation
- Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome
- Patellar Tendinopathy
- Quadriceps Tendinopathy
- Osgood Schlatter’s Disease
- Sinding Larsen Johansson Syndrome
Arthritis is a leading cause of knee pain, particularly in older adults, with symptoms that can significantly impair quality of life.
Knee Tendon Injuries
Tendon injuries can result from overuse or sudden, high-impact activities, contributing to ongoing knee pain.
Muscle strains and related conditions are common knee pain causes, especially among athletes and active individuals.
- Corked Thigh
- Thigh Muscle Strain
- Hamstring Strain
- ITB Syndrome
- Popliteus Syndrome
- Muscle Strain
- Muscle Cramps
- DOMS – Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
Inflammation of the bursae can cause significant knee pain, often requiring targeted treatment to reduce symptoms.
Children’s Knee Conditions
Young athletes can experience specific knee conditions related to growth and activity levels.
Other Knee-Related Conditions
Various other conditions can lead to knee pain, necessitating a broad understanding of potential knee pain causes.
- Baker's Cyst
- Runner’s Knee
- Reducing Knee Stress for Runners
- Plica Syndrome
- Stress Fracture
- Overuse Injuries
- Restless Legs Syndrome
In some cases, surgical intervention may be the best option to address certain knee pain causes effectively.
Seek Professional Advice
For tailored information regarding your knee pain, consult a healthcare professional with experience in knee conditions, such as a knee physiotherapist, sports physician or knee surgeon. They can provide a personalised assessment and treatment plan to address your specific needs.
Knee Pain Products & FAQs
A variety of products can support knee pain management. Browse our selection and read our FAQs to learn more about how to alleviate knee discomfort. More info: Knee Pain Products & FAQs
With this guide, you’re better equipped to understand the various knee pain causes and take the first step towards recovery. Remember, early intervention by a skilled physiotherapist can significantly improve your outcomes and assist in returning you to a pain-free, active lifestyle.
Knee Pain FAQs
Knee pain is a common ailment that affects people of all ages and lifestyles. Whether it's a result of injury, wear and tear, or underlying conditions like arthritis, understanding the nature of knee pain and its potential implications is crucial for seeking appropriate care and relief. In this comprehensive set of frequently asked questions (FAQs), we will delve into various aspects of knee pain, including its diagnosis, ligament-related issues, ACL injuries, meniscal injuries, age and arthritis-related concerns, and ways to alleviate discomfort through exercise and treatment. Let's explore these questions to gain valuable insights into managing knee pain effectively and improving overall knee health.
- How Can I Determine If My Knee Injury Is Serious?
- How Can I Identify The Type Of Knee Injury I Have?
- When Should I Seek a Physiotherapist or Doctor for My Knee Injury?
- Is Knee Clicking a Sign of a Serious Condition?
- When Should I Consider Getting a MRI for My Knee?
- Why Has My Knee Suddenly Started Hurting?
- Why Does My Knee Hurt On The Inner Side?
Knee Ligament Related
- What Are The Common Symptoms of a Torn Ligament in the Knee?
- Can I Walk With A Torn Ligament In My Knee?
- What are the Consequences of Not Getting Surgery for an ACL Injury?
- What Are The Symptoms Of An ACL Tear?
Age & Arthritis Related
- At What Age Do Knee Problems Typically Begin?
- What are the Common Symptoms of Arthritis in the Knee?