Dr Robert J Snyder MD concludes his look at knee pain and knee surgery with an overview of recovery from, and the benefits of AKS
Recovery from Knee Surgery
So what is the recovery period like after Arthroscopic Knee Surgery ( AKS)? Most of my patients do extremely well after having arthroscopic knee surgery. Most have minimal pain during recovery, which is easily managed with OTC pain medication. Depending upon the condition or injury that was treated and the magnitude of the problem, a patient may be given crutches to use while their incision and repair heals. They may also/instead wear a brace, splint or fabric support for the knee.
I will order Physical Therapy for the patient when I want to make sure that they spend an appropriate amount of time working to regain their strength, range of motion and flexibility in the knee. Some surgeries almost always require physical therapy, such as after repair of tears of the Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL). Physical Therapy plays a vital role in helping the patient learn correct and safe ways of engaging the knee, not only after surgery, but also with regard to daily activities and during sports.
What are the benefits of having an arthroscopic knee surgery over a traditional surgery? As I surgeon, I would tell you that using a scope to look inside your knee provides me with a vastly improved view and enables me to quickly define the problem. Newer, smaller surgical instrumentation allows me to access the problematic areas of the knee and to fix defects or remove worn or torn tissue. I spend much less time closing incisions as they are so much smaller. As a patient, you will also see many benefits to having arthroscopic knee surgery. These benefits include:
- No hospital stay ( in most cases)
- Less blood loss
- Less tissue trauma
- Smaller incisions
- Less Scarring after surgery
- Less post-operative pain from surgical incisions
- Lower risk of complications
- Easier recovery period
Arthroscopic knee surgery has dramatically changed the treatment of knee problems over the past 35 or so years. As technology advances, better cameras and instruments will allow orthopaedic surgeons to continue to improve on current treatments. My patients will also benefit greatly from these advances. It is a win-win for everyone!
Robert J. Snyder is an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specializes in the treatment of knees, hips and shoulders. A graduate of and former Chief-of-Surgery at the United States Military Academy at West Point, Dr. Snyder’s specialty focus is Total Joint Replacement and the treatment of Sport Injuries.
Dr. Snyder currently practices at Orthopaedic & Spine Center in Newport News, VA.