I will discuss the pros and cons of surgical vs non-surgical treatment and a tailor a treatment plan to your individual needs. Once a mutually agreed decision to have surgery has been made, you will be listed for surgery. You will be taken through the consent process and asked to sign a form.
Depending on your health and general fitness level you may receive an appointment to attend the pre-operative assessment clinic. Your relative/carer is also encouraged to attend with you. During this appointment a detailed medical history will be taken. A blood sample may be required, heart tracing may be taken (ECG), swabs will be taken to check for the presence of bacteria (MRSA). We may need to organise other investigations based on your individual needs to ensure you are optimised and safe prior to having your operation.
Before you come into hospital it is important you are as fit as possible for your operation. You can do this with a healthy balanced diet and regular exercise. We appreciate walking may be painful, but a lot of exercises can be done by sitting in a chair or laying down in bed. If possible, avoid activities that cause repetitive impact such as jogging and running.
It is important that your skin is in good condition, as wounds or rashes on the skin increase the chances of you getting an infection. If you have any concerns regarding your skin in the days leading up to your operation, we strongly advise you to let us know.
Day of Your Knee Arthroscopy Operation
You will be welcomed on to the ward by one of our friendly healthcare professionals. You will meet the nurse or healthcare assistant who will methodically go through your admission paperwork and carry out a few baseline observations.
You will meet the anaesthetist who will discuss the anaesthetic plan with you. We usually tend to do the operation under a general anaesthetic.
You will meet me, and I will confirm the operation plan with you and will happily answer any questions that you might have. The operation lasts approximately 30 minutes or less.
After Your Knee Arthroscopy Operation
You will have a bulky bandage around your knee which will be on for approximately 48 hours. Rarely one might experience mild to moderate discomfort. Most patients are relatively settled and comfortable as I infiltrate local anaesthetic following surgery into the knee. You will be given pain killers to take home to help manage any potential discomfort after you are discharged.
Most patients will be able to mobilise full weight bearing after their arthroscopy. In the rarer occasions, such as in the case of a meniscal repair, you will need to mobilise with crutches for a few weeks and will not be allowed to weight bear through your knee.
Knee arthroscopy is a day case procedure, i.e. you go home the same day of your surgery. Please do not drive yourself and ensure you have made arrangements to be taken home by a responsible adult. General anaesthesia temporarily affects your co-ordination and reasoning skills, so you must not drive, drink alcohol, operate machinery or sign legal documents for 24 hours afterwards. In a very small proportion of cases people may need stay one night in hospital after the operation.
After you go home, you will need to continue with the exercises you were taught on the ward by the physiotherapist. It is very important for you to attend out-patient physiotherapy appointments if these are required or have been booked. If you cannot attend these appointments kindly let the physiotherapists on the ward know prior to your discharge allowing them to make alternative arrangements.