Joint Orthopaedic Centre: knee, arthroscopy, reconstruction, resurfacing, replacement, arthritis, orthopaedic, orthopedic, surgeon, surgery, Sydney, Australia

Knee Arthroscopy

Arthroscopy: after the operation


A compression bandage will be applied to your knee. Although it will be quite tight, the dressing itself is soft. This dressing is designed to absorb fluid, and/or blood. If the dressing becomes moist or blood stained, there is no need for alarm. You may change the dressing 2 days after the surgery, unless otherwise directed. Once a dressing has been removed, cover the small cuts with bandaids.


The small surgical incisions are usually left open to allow drainage of fluid used during the surgery, but may on occasion be stitched. The point of entry may be sore and may develop bruising during the first few days after surgery. This bruising around the wounds will eventually disappear and does not require any special care, unless you have a chronic joint condition.


You may resume your diet as tolerated, but should avoid greasy foods for the first 24hrs.


To relieve pain, do not dangle your leg for long periods of time. Elevate your knee above your heart level to reduce swelling and pain. Ice and rest also helps. Panadeine Forte is offered to you in the hospital, and Dr Kerr will provide you with a prescription to take home. This medication is designed to relieve pain. Panadeine Forte can be taken 3-4 hourly. Nurofen is an inflammatory medication that provides pain relief and helps with swelling. This drug will be provided at the hospital for your stay. Dr Kerr will provide you with a prescription for home use but it may also be purchased at the pharmacy over the counter. Please do not take any aspirin, because it may increase bleeding during the first few days following surgery. You may resume any previous medications that you are receiving before surgery. If you have any allergies, these should be discussed prior to your operation. Lastly, please do not drive or operate heavy machinery after taking Panadeine Forte.


Bruising around the thigh/knee area is not uncommon. This is a result of the tourniquet used during the surgery. The bruising may extend down the leg into the shin, ankle/heel area, and will resolve in 10 - 14 days.


Swelling around the knee and down the leg and into the foot and ankle region is normal. Reducing the swelling as much as possible will improve comfort and mobility. The following will help you reduce the swelling:

  • For the first few nights when you go to bed, elevate your leg on 2 - 3 pillows (so that the knee is above the level of your heart).
  • 3 or 4 times during the day, lay flat on your back with your leg above the level of your heart (on 2 - 3 pillows), for 30 minutes.

Ice Therapy

Ice is very important to help with pain and swelling. When you wake up in Recovery, you will have a specially designed ice pack, called a Cryocuf. At home ice needs to be applied consistently for the first 24 hours. Refreshing it every 2 - 3 hours. After the first 24 hours, apply a fresh ice pack on the knee, 3 - 4 times a day for 20 minutes on 20 minutes off. The ice and elevation may be helpful for up to 2 weeks after surgery. Swelling should be at its maximum by the end of the first week post-operation. If you feel the swelling is excessive, please call the office.


You will be out of bed walking within 2 hours after surgery. Most arthroscopy patients do not need crutches postoperatively. If you want crutches, please inform the physiotherapist at the hospital. You may place weight upon your surgical leg when comfortable. Jogging or running should be deferred until your muscles have restrengthened. If a severe arthritic condition exists within the knee, then crutches will be necessary, and additional modifications of activity will be recommended. If deep stitches were placed into the joint or the kneecap, a brace will be necessary.


If you develop a fever above 30 degrees centigrade, unexpected pain, redness or swelling in your legs, please contact the office.

Return Appointment

Please call the office on (02) 93872877, to make your first follow up appointment for approximately 5-7 days post operation.

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