After Knee Arthroscopy

Man riding exercise bike.

After surgery, your joint may be swollen, painful, and stiff. Your recovery time will depend on what was done. Your surgeon will tell you when to resume activity and weight bearing. If you had meniscal cartilage or loose bodies removed, you may be told to bear weight early on. After ACL repair, don't pivot or make sudden moves.

At home

Follow your surgeon’s guidelines for healing:

  • Elevate your knee as much as possible and ice your knee for 20 minutes at a time. Then allow at least 20 minutes before the next icing session.

  • Limit weight-bearing, if advised to do so.

  • Keep your knee bandaged according to your surgeon's instructions.

  • When you shower, wrap your knee with plastic to keep it dry.

  • Take pain medicine as directed.

Your checklist

The checklist below helps remind you what to do after arthroscopy.

? Schedule your first follow-up visit for 5 to 7 days after surgery or as directed by your surgeon.

? Take care of your incision and bathe as directed.

? Complete your physical therapy program.

? Talk with your surgeon about activities you can do immediately and those that need to wait.

When to call your healthcare provider

Contact your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Fever

  • Chills

  • Persistent warmth or redness around the knee

  • Persistent or increased pain

  • Significant swelling in your knee

  • Increasing pain in your calf muscle