POST OP-KNEE ARTHROSOCOPY SURGERY INSTRUCTIONS
Following your operative procedure, you will be allowed to go home with the assistance of another individual. It is recommended that you have someone stay with you the first 24 to 48 hours after being given an anesthetic.It is normal to have some discomfort and/or pain in the first few days after this procedure. Everyone responds to and describes pain differently, but in general the pain medications prescribed should be adequate to control your pain. Severe pain, or pain that is increasing over the course of the first few days, is a reason to contact the office ahead of your scheduled appointment.
OTHER REASONS TO CALL
FEVER: Greater than 101.5*F degrees. It is not unusual to have a low-grade fever (101 or less) in the first 24-48 hours after general anesthesia. However, fever that begins after, or lasts longer than 48 hours, is a reason to call.
NAUSEA: It is common in the first few hours after general anesthesia, and your physicians have taken steps to try and reduce the severity and duration. If severe nausea persists, or if it makes you unable to take your oral pain medications, please contact the office. It is recommended to eat a limited diet, with relatively bland food, for the first few days after surgery to reduce the chances of nausea.
SWELLING: It is related to accumulation of arthroscopic fluid in the soft tissues around the knee. It generally resolves over the first 24-48 hours. It may lead to saturation of the initial post-operative dressing. This dressing can be changed if needed and replaced with a dry dressing at 48 hours. It is also normal to see bruising around the knee or down the leg from the effects of the surgical procedure. If you develop a hot, red, or excessively swollen knee or leg, or if you experience a feeling of cold or numbness or tingling after 18 hours please contact Dr. Berkman. Progressive swelling should be discussed with the office and may require a visit ahead of your scheduled appointment.
It is recommended to prop your leg up or elevate your operative extremity above the level of your heart to help reduce swelling. This may require you on your back with your leg on 5 to 6 pillows.
CARE OF DRESSING/SHOWERING
Your knee was dressed in the sterile environment in the operating room.You may take a shower after three days. Prior to this you should keep your dressing as dry as possible. You may either take a sponge bath, tape a garbage bad tightly around the area or wrap the knee with saran wrap to keep from getting wet in the shower. The dressing can be removed 2-3 days after your procedure. Dressings and coverings are no longer necessary after three days. At this point you can look for any signs of infection (i.e.,fever, redness, drainage). If you are not comfortable moving the dressing we will remove it at your first post-op visit. After your follow up visit, the incisions do not need to be covered unless instructed by your doctor. Water may run over the area, but do not attempt to scrub or wash the area vigorously. Pat the area dry after the shower and apply a dry dressing if desired. Avoid creams, salves or ointments unless instructed to do so by your physician. Soaking the incisions in a tub, pool or hot tub is not permitted until instructed by your physician, generally 10-14 days post-operatively.
PLEASE REMEMBER TO WEAR THE (WHITE) TED HOSE AND USE THE SEQUENTIAL COMPRESSION DEVICES OR (SCD MACHINE) AT HOME.
This will help to decrease swelling in the surgical knee/leg and to help prevent blood clots.
During the first 48 hours, ice can be helpful to decrease pain and swelling and is especially important during the first 72 hours. Ice bags/packs should never be applied directly to the skin. They should be wrapped in a towel and applied for 20 minutes at a time. Generally a break of an hour or more between icing is recommended. If the skin becomes very cold or burns, discontinue the ice application immediately.
Physical therapy will be discussed at your first post-operative visit. Not every patient will require therapy and it will be dependent on the type of surgery and your individual recovery.
DRIVING AND ACTIVITY
Driving is not recommended until patients are off all narcotic medications and are no longer using any assistive devices such as a walker or crutches. It is recommended that patients not drive until they have enough strength and mobility to operate a vehicle. Please avoid bending, lifting (7-10 lbs.), straining, exercise and air travel for 2 weeks. Most patients, within 2 weeks, can resume all regular activities. You will be instructed by the nurse in crutch walking before you leave the hospital, if necessary. You may put as much weight as determined below using the crutches. You must continue to do your exercises as instructed.
These will include muscle tightening and limited range of motion exercises. It is important for you to do these exercises. They will hasten your return to normal activities as soon as possible.
- Weight bearing with assisted crutch walking
- Crutch walking with only light weight bearing
- Crutch walking with only non-weight bearing
Your physician has prescribed a combination of medications in an attempt to make you as comfortable as possible in the post-operative period. No medications can take away all the pain of surgery, but a combination regimen is effective in reducing pain and inflammation. The following medications will be given to you at your History and Physical visit. These medications can cause an upset stomach and should always be taken with food. Please inform your physician of any past ulcer or reflux history as it may alter this prescription. We will prescribe a pain medication designed for pain control and should only be used as needed. Use the lowest dose possible to control pain. These medications can cause constipation and drowsiness and should be stopped as soon as pain allows. If constipation occurs, try eating bran cereal (with 8-10 grams of fiber). If that doesn’t stimulate a bowel movement consider using alaxative (over the counter) such as Colace or Miralax and make sure you drink plenty of fluids. We will also prescribe an antibiotic to take at home following your surgery which will be used to help prevent infection.
EMERGENCIES OR CONCERNS
Contact us at 713-486-3550 or go to the nearest emergency room.
- Pain worsens or does not go away after pain medication is taken.
- Redness or swelling in your thigh or calf that will not decrease.
- Difficulties moving your toes or extremities.
- Develop a fever greater than 101.4 degrees.
- If you develop chest pain, shortness of breath, loss of consciousness, new onset slurred speech call 911.
Please note that refills on pain medication will not be approved during evenings or on weekends.
To find out what treatment option is right for you please call: (713) 486-3550 to schedule an appointment or click the button below: