Arthroscopic Surgery Is The First Step

Arthroscopic surgery is an effective procedure for anyone struggling with acute or chronic joint pain. Ligament damage, arthritis, or severe inflammation can lead to consistent pain, stiffness, and reduced flexibility, eventually weakening the joint. Arthroscopic surgery uses a unique device called an arthroscope to project images of the damaged joint on an external screen. The scope is passed through a small incision less than an inch in diameter. Additional small incisions allow the surgeon to pass surgical tools to repair, remove, or replace elements of the joint. While the benefits are numerous, arthroscopic surgery is only effective with a strong recovery process. Managing daily activities and recovery is crucial for having an effective timeline.

Streamlining your home for recovery

Arthroscopic surgery is an outpatient procedure, meaning the patient can leave the hospital the same day. This benefit allows patients to recover comfortably at home. At the same time, the patient will be unable to perform normal activities at home, especially within the first 2 weeks of recovery. Patients must modify or change routines before surgery to complete daily activities safely. Remove items that can be a hazard, or cause falls. Modify the stairs and bathroom by adding grab bars if possible. Ask a friend or family member for advanced help in preparing meals, cleaning, and other essentials that are difficult during recovery. Managing these initial activities minimizes the risk of rupturing sutures or causing further damage to the joint.

Navigating through daily tasks

After the initial 2-week stage, patients will still have pain and stiffness. At this stage, the surgeon removes the sutures. However, healing is still progressing. The patient will still experience pain and reduced range of motion. In some cases, performing some activities of daily living (ADL), like cooking, grooming, dressing, and toileting, may be challenging. Set up each space with tools to make accessing supplies, standing, sitting, and navigating the house as easy as possible. Some doctors may suggest occupational therapy, a series of techniques that help with performing ADL safely.

The power of PT

Physical therapy (PT) is often a requirement of arthroscopic surgery. The goal is to strengthen the surrounding muscles while improving mobility. PT helps restore the surgical site’s function while healing occurs so the patient can return to regular activity. In most cases, PT takes several weeks but can extend to months, depending on the location and extent of the injury. For a speedy recovery, patients are encouraged to attend all PT sessions. These sessions combine strength training, massage, flexibility, and specific tools to improve function. The patient is also provided with a blueprint of exercises to perform at home. Performing these actions consistently in the absence of a physiotherapist can help speed up the process.

Trust your recovery timeline

The recovery time for each person varies. Arthroscopic surgery will lower this timeline due to smaller incisions, less postoperative pain, and fewer complications. However, each circumstance will have a different timeline. For instance, carpal tunnel release may have a timeline of a few weeks. An anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) or Achilles tendon repair may need several months of rest and therapy. The medical and PT team will explain the timeline in detail. The patient will hit key milestones, like reduced pain, improved mobility, and return to light activities. Trust the process, performing the movements as needed. PT, along with modified daily activities, should provide the desired results.

Plan well, recover well

Arthroscopic surgery is a huge decision. The procedure diagnoses and repairs severe underlying issues causing chronic pain and limited mobility. The surgery’s success depends on the patient’s care in recovery. Proactively setting up the home for modified daily activities and adhering to physical therapy increase the chances of a smooth recovery. Healing and recovery are different for everyone. These strategies will help make recovery easier but may not reduce the timeline. Be patient, follow the doctor’s instructions, and rest as needed. With dedication, the results and benefits of arthroscopic surgery will bloom in due time.