The great thing about having arthroscopic surgery is that it can help you regain motion and function in a damaged joint, but without having a full joint replacement. Arthroscopy isn’t an appropriate treatment for arthritis, but it is excellent for treating other reasons for joint pain – such as repairing injuries to the tendons or ligaments, removing tiny bone shards in the joint, or smoothing out cartilage that is slightly damaged or torn.
Even though arthroscopy is an outpatient surgery, it is still key to follow your orthopedic surgeon’s instructions for a successful recovery. After all, surgery is not a natural injury, so you won’t become magically healed after the operation without a bit of extra effort.
The following dos and don’ts provide an overview of how to best handle recovery after arthroscopic surgery, and where you can find outstanding orthopedic surgeons in Naples who can help you stay pain-free.
What to Do When Recovering from Arthroscopy
Here are some of the things you should do following your operation:
Do Take It Easy
It’s vital to rest and not overdo it for the first few days after having arthroscopic surgery. You will feel some degree of pain and discomfort, so avoid any strenuous activity and follow your physical therapist’s and orthopedic surgeon’s instructions. Your therapist will show you how to move the joint gently and without causing harm to the joint while it’s healing.
Do Take Your Medication
Take the pain medication as prescribed by your surgeon; you may need to take it to relieve pain for the first few days. You may also be given an antibiotic to prevent any post-surgery infections from developing.
Do Follow Instructions on Activities
Follow your surgeon’s and physical therapist’s instructions on when and how to start moving your joint. They will likely encourage you to start moving the operative joint right away in order to help prevent stiffness and to encourage healing. As the joint heals, you will be able to slowly increase your activity levels.
Do Ice the Joint
Apply cold therapy to your joint as directed by your surgeon. You may need to do this several times daily for a few days to help reduce swelling and pain. Be careful not to make the ice directly touch your skin; wrap it in a towel first.
What Not to Do After Arthroscopic Surgery
You should also remember what to avoid during your recovery:
Don’t Put Weight on the Joint
Your surgeon will likely recommend not to put any weight on your joint for the first few days after surgery. That will help to prevent further damage and to allow the area to begin healing.
Don’t Ignore Pain
Pain is a normal part of the healing process, and the pain medication you are prescribed should be sufficient to quell the pain to a bearable degree. Contact your orthopedic doctor immediately if the pain becomes unbearable, or if you see increased swelling or redness around the incision area, because that might indicate an infection.
Don’t Neglect Wound Care
Be sure to follow your surgeon’s instructions on how to care for your incision area while it heals. That includes keeping the area clean and dry, changing your bandages as directed, and watching for signs of infection.
Don’t Forget Your Follow-Up Appointments
You will likely have follow-up appointments with your orthopedic surgeon after the surgery. The doctor will check your healing progress and ensure you are recovering well.
Do Find the Best Arthroscopic Surgeon in Naples, FL
You can rely on the board-certified, fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons here at the Joint Replacement Institute in Naples for reliable arthroscopic surgery, so you can get back to your active lifestyle.
Call our friendly staff today at (239) 261-2663 (BONE) to schedule an appointment with one of our excellent orthopedic surgeons, or fill out our appointment request form online now. We look forward to serving you!