Knee Arthroscopy (Meniscectomies/Debridements): Post- Operative Visit Objectives
  • Review the operative findings, procedures and photos.
  • Make sure medications are effective and not causing problems.
    • Anti-inflammatory-you can take the anti-inflammatory of your choice for 2-3 weeks after surgery to help minimize soreness, aching and swelling. We can prescribe Relafen 750mg twice per day. You may also use Celebrex, Aleve, or Ibuprofen. If you have any problems, allergies, or stomach intolerance stop taking these medicines!
    • Pain: Vicodin is for pain. This excellent pain reliever is a narcotic plus Tylenol. You may take 1 or 2 tablets every 6 hours as necessary. Due to our protocol of local anesthesia most patients require minimal if any Vicodin…in this circumstance use Tylenol extra-strength, 1 or 2 tablets every 6 hours.
  • Wound Care:
    • During your first clinic visit we will change your dressings and cover your wounds with a plastic covering called Tegaderm. This will allow you to shower immediately. No baths or swimming until the bandages are removed at 2 weeks.
    • You can peel the Tegaderm and Steri-Strips off in 2 weeks.
    • Your ace bandage remains on for 2 weeks.
  • Exercises and Physical Therapy
    • Continue the basic exercises 4x/day
    • Today you can begin to ride a stationary bike. Start at 10 minutes with no resistance and slowly increase the time (by 1-2 minute increments). Once you have reached 30 minutes you may add some mild resistance every few days.
    • The ultimate goal is to ride continuously for 1 hour per day, 5 days per week with moderate resistance.
    • Schedule Physical Therapy. This will include more exercise and modalities to facilitate your progress. We will give you the referral but you must still ride the bike!
  • Cane or Crutches
    • Make sure you use your crutches or cane for 5 days or more. This rests the knee and decreases pain and swelling. You will get better faster this way.
    • Remember in the 1st 6 weeks make a point not to “over-walk” especially if you have some arthritis…this will cause more pain and swelling!
  • Follow Up appointments
    • Schedule Follow up visit before you leave the office today for approximately 6 weeks.
  • Notes etc:
    • Make sure you have all necessary notes and documentation for school or work.

Post-Op Arthroscopic Rehabilitation

For an individual to return to previous levels of activity, he or she must exercise 6 days a week. The following information outlines the particular types of exercise that can be utilized for recovery from arthroscopic surgery.

  • Biking – Stationary bike therapy should begin within 24-48 hours after surgery. Start at 10 minutes comfortably then gradually increase time, speed ad resistance working towards 1 hour/day by the end of 6 weeks (if you are a professional/elite athlete you will expected to cycle 2 hours/day). The bike is the ideal recovery exercise and is instrumental in your recovery.
  • Swimming – This can start as soon as 14 days after surgery. Your wounds must be healed before soaking in water. The freestyle is ideal. Other strokes such as the breaststroke should be avoided due to additional stresses on the knee. Aqua jogging with a best or vest plus water therapy is also excellent.
  • Jogging/Running – This can start at week 4-9 depending on the individual progress and the particular surgery performed. Running progression starts with walking with no limp hitting heel first, then walking for 30 minutes with no pain or limp, then walk 5 minutes and jog 5 minutes, then walk 5 minutes and jog ten minutes, then walk 5 minutes and jog 15 minutes and so on. Do not jog if you are limping.
  • Agility Progressions (The Box)– In general they should be initiated early. The box is set-up with 4 cones 5 yards apart making a box. The box is initially walked slowly, then walked rapidly, then jogged, then sprinted. The box starts at 5 yards then progresses to 10, 20 and 40 yards. Successful execution of this progression allows you to restore agility, propioception and functional return to sports. The following is how the box is to be used:
    • First time around the box – run forward
    • Second time around – side-step left foot forward
    • Third time around – run backward (at manageable pace)
    • Fourth time around – side-step right foot forward