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After Knee Arthroscopy

After surgery, your joint may be swollen, painful, and stiff. Your recovery time will depend on what was done. Your surgeon will tell you when to resume activity and weight bearing. If you had meniscal cartilage or loose bodies removed, you may be told to bear weight early on. After ACL repair, do not pivot or make sudden moves.

Man riding exercise bike.
You may be told to ride an exercise bike daily. This will help restore your knee's motion and strength.

At Home

Follow your surgeon’s guidelines for healing:

  • Elevate your knee as much as possible and ice your knee for 20 minutes. then allow at least 20 minutes before the next icing session..

  • Keep your knee bandaged according to your surgeon's instructions.

  • When you shower, wrap your knee with plastic to keep it dry.

  • Take pain medication as directed.

Your checklist

The checklist below helps remind you what to do after arthroscopy.

Image Schedule your first follow-up visit for 5 days after surgery or as directed by your surgeon.

Image Take care of your incision and bathe as directed.

Image Complete your physical therapy program.

Image Talk with your surgeon about activities you can do immediately and those that need to wait.

Contact your surgeon right away if you experience any of the following:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Persistent warmth or redness around the kne

  • Persistent or increased pain

  • Significant swelling in your knee

  • Increasing pain in your calf muscle

Online Medical Reviewer: Hanrahan, John, MD
Online Medical Reviewer: newMentor board-certified, academically affiliated clinician
Last Review Date: 3/10/2013
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