Recovery and Rehabilitation

What to expect from knee arthroscopy recovery & rehabilitation

A video depicting what an arthroscopic knee surgery patient can expect and how they can get back to living their life.
Getting Back to Health

Recovering from arthroscopy is usually a lot easier than traditional surgery. You usually experience less trauma to the tissue, less pain and a quicker recovery.

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Following arthroscopy surgery, you may be sleepy from any general anesthesia or numb from any local anesthesia. Your incision will also be bandaged and your health care team will give you instructions on how to care for it.

Early on, patients will experience some swelling and discomfort in the knee. This may last for a few days after the surgery. A prescription for pain medication and an anti-inflammatory drug to help alleviate these symptoms may be given. Contact your doctor if you have any unusual swelling or redness, if the area feels warm or if you injure your knee in any way.

Your doctor may want you to rest, as well as elevate your knee and keep it iced. In addition, you may be instructed to start exercising your knee immediately to restore strength and full range of motion. Initially, exercises should focus on gentle strengthening of the muscles surrounding the knee as well as increasing joint range of motion.

You should expect to feel a gentle stretch while performing your beginning exercises, but not any pain. Any activity that causes significant discomfort should be stopped immediately. It is also a good idea to ice and elevate the leg after performing these exercises to decrease any increase in swelling.

DSUS/JRC/0914/0475(1) 10/2016


The performance of knee arthroscopy depends on age, weight, activity level and other factors. There are potential risks and recovery takes time. People with conditions limiting rehabilitation should not have this surgery. Only an orthopaedic surgeon can tell if knee arthroscopy is right for you.

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