Modern technology currently allows for low-risk meniscus surgery. It requires only a small incision at the knee area and by using an instrument called arthroscope, a doctor can inspect the extent of the injury and at the same time do necessary repair.
Three types of treatment can be done using arthroscope, i.e. arthroscopic repair, and partial or total meniscectomy. However, after the meniscus surgery is complete, patients should know what to expect until full recovery. This is important to avoid any untoward incidents that may cause issues in the just operated area.
What Happens Right After Surgery?
The doctors may perform meniscus surgery under general or spinal anesthetic. Administration of local anesthesia is also possible at the area of the knee in combination with spinal anesthetic. Depending on whether you choose a general or spinal anesthetic, or what the doctors see as more suitable for you if you have other conditions, then you may be wide awake during the surgery, or completely unconscious.
Once the surgery is over, you will be resting in the hospital for a while because the doctor would like to check on your progress. When the doctor finds that you are doing well, you will be allowed to return home, but maybe with braces or cast to stabilise your knee. The doctor may supply you with some pain relievers to swallow, in case the pain is too much to bear.
You also need to take antibiotics for a few days to prevent infection at the incision area and inside it. To avoid risk of blood clots, which is normal precaution after any types of surgery, the doctor may suggest that you wear compression stockings. It will keep your feet warm and encourage healthy blood flow.
How Long Does It Take to Recover from a Meniscus Surgery?
Expect to find swelling and feel stiffness at your knee area for quite some time. However, the after-effect may differ from one patient to another. In some cases, patients complained that their leg still did not regain its full capability and smoothness of movement after two weeks post-operation.
This situation is quite normal, taking into consideration the usual recovery period of one month for those who underwent partial or total meniscectomy. For those who went through repair surgery, unfortunately it can take longer, up to 3 months for full recovery.
Hence, it is important to abide by all the advice given by doctors. Other than taking the medication properly, try to cool down the swelling area with ice packs and put your feet higher than your head while resting. This is to reduce the swelling and help you feel more comfortable over time. Avoid any forceful movement during recovery process.
You must also attend physical therapy sessions. This therapy session is essential because it can help your knee to regain its elasticity and strengthen tissues and muscles in the affected area.
In the end, most of the patients who ever had a history of meniscus surgery can go back to playing their favourite sports and participate again in any activities they enjoyed. If you have any concerns about your situation before or after a meniscus surgery, please do not hesitate to discuss it with your healthcare provider, because their experience can help eliminate any worries that you may have.