Knee arthroscopy is one of the most commonly performed and successful procedures in the United States today. There are many indications, however, most commonly it is used to address torn cartilage in the knee. The procedure is done on an outpatient basis, and it involves 2 very small incisions in the front of the knee. Each incision is approximately 1/4 inch in length.
Typically patient are asked to arrive one hour prior to the start time of the procedure to be evaluated by anesthesiologists and prepped for surgery. The surgery typically lasts less than one hour, and patients are usually in the recovery room for 45 minutes to one hour postop before being cleared to go home. You will generally be allowed to walk on the surgical leg immediately, however, ice and elevation will help minimize postoperative pain and swelling. Physical therapy starts within a week of surgery, and typically lasts for 4 to 6 weeks. Bandages are left in place for 48 hours, and patients are allowed to shower after the bandages have been removed. In most cases, patients are released to resume full activity 4 to 6 weeks following the procedure.