Joint pain is a common orthopedic concern that almost everyone deals with at some point in their lives. For some, the pain can be so severe that even medication or other nonsurgical treatments no longer provide relief. When this happens, your doctor may recommend arthroscopic surgery.
While the name of the procedure may sound a bit daunting, there’s no need to fret – it is one of the least invasive surgeries available, which means an easier and faster recovery than usual.
To help ensure you have a quick and complete recovery, we provide the below guide for you.
What Is Arthroscopic Surgery?
Arthroscopy is a minimally invasive surgical procedure performed to simultaneously diagnose and treat joint problems. After making the tiniest of incisions, your orthopedic surgeon inserts a slim tube with a fiber-optic camera into the affected joint.
Your doctor can then view unobstructed, up-close images of the joint from a high-definition screen in the operating room. This allows closer assessment and more precise treatment – without having to create a larger opening in the body.
In most cases, you go home the same day after arthroscopic surgery. Complete recovery can take weeks to a few months, depending on factors such as which body part was affected.
How to Speed Your Recovery After Arthroscopic Surgery
Take Your Medications as Prescribed
Before you are released to go home after arthroscopic surgery, chances are your doctor will prescribe some medications for you. These drugs are to help you recover faster and to help manage any post-op pain or swelling that may occur. Many prescription and over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective pain relievers.
It is in your best interest to take the medicines prescribed to you. Set some alarms so you won’t forget whenever you need to take one. Be sure to note which medicine is for what issue, and how each is to be taken, instead of just blindly taking them all on a daily basis.
Apply Ice to Manage Inflammation
Intermittent cold therapy is incredibly effective at reducing inflammation and controlling pain after surgery. Always follow your doctor’s post-op instructions, but generally speaking, applying ice or a cold compress to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day, can work wonders.
The cold helps by numbing the pain and tenderness. Additionally, the cold constricts the blood vessels, helping to limit swelling.
Follow Your Physical Therapy Plan
At Midwest Orthopaedics in Johnson County, Kansas, recovery from arthroscopic surgery almost always involves physical therapy for joint rehabilitation. Your doctor may pair you with a physical therapist and recommend therapy sessions for at least the first few weeks after surgery.
Your therapist will provide support, encouragement, and exercises that aim to restore the function and mobility of your joint.
Depending on your progress, you may need to continue attending these therapy sessions for a while. They may also give you a set of exercises to perform at home, preferably under the guidance of another person.
Wear a Supportive Brace for Added Protection
While recovering from an arthroscopy, wearing supportive braces can help provide an extra layer of protection and security. Doing so can help reduce swelling after physical therapy. It also helps limit your movements and controls the pressure experienced at the joint.
If you wear a brace, be sure to wear it at all times, unless your doctor advises otherwise. Try not to overexert yourself and wear loose-fitting clothes so as not to constrict blood flow at the site of your injury.
Adjust Your Goals and Lifestyle
It can be tempting to return to your usual activities immediately after arthroscopic surgery, but remember that this may actually worsen your condition or cause a re-injury.
Set realistic goals as you slowly readjust to your lifestyle. If you like to play sports or spend long hours in the gym, it may be important to refrain from these activities for a while. Instead, look for low-intensity activities you can temporarily engage in, with your doctor’s approval. You may also need to make adjustments to your diet.
Arthroscopic Surgery in Johnson County, KS
If you are experiencing joint pain that does not get better with medication or other conservative treatment methods, you may want to consider arthroscopic surgery. This type of minimally invasive surgery has the power to change your life.
Do you need arthroscopic surgery in Merriam or Overland Park, Kansas? At Midwest Orthopaedics, we treat a broad range of musculoskeletal problems, from joint pain to sports injuries. We use arthroscopic surgery, as well as a number of other treatment options, to treat all sorts of orthopedic joint issues. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists, and friendly staff are always ready to provide high-quality, compassionate healthcare when you need it.
Call Midwest Orthopaedics today at (913) 362-8137 to schedule your consultation with one of our expert orthopedic surgeons. You can also use our online appointment request form. We look forward to helping you ease your pain!