- Walking: It is usually not necessary for crutches, but in some cases it may be essential. This will be discussed with you at your visit in my rooms before surgery and confirmed with you after the surgery.
- Driving: It is important to remember that you cannot drive a car for 12 hours after having had an anaesthetic. You should be able to start driving the day after surgery.
- Return to work: Depending on your type of work you will not be able to work for between 3 days and 2 weeks. If you are at school or a student at university you should be able to return to classes/lectures 3 days after surgery.
- Ice wrap: You will be supplied with an ice wrap and will be shown how to use it. Ice therapy is very beneficial to the healing process and helps with pain control.
- Dressings: The dressings are water resistant so you are able to shower with them in place. You will receive a spare set of dressings upon your discharge from the hospital. These only need to be used if a dressing should come loose. All the dressings can be removed one week after the surgery. The stitches used are positioned beneath the skin and do not need to be removed. The wounds can then be left open and can now be exposed to water. Avoid exposing the scars to direct sunlight for the first four weeks as it can lead to darkening of the scar.
- Swimming: It is safe to swim after 2 weeks.
- Rehabilitation: The physiotherapist will inform you of the specific rehabilitation programme that applies to your knee.
What should you be on the lookout for in the first 4 weeks? It is during this period that there is a risk of infection and deep vein thrombosis (DVT). Please contact me if any of the following symptoms occur:
- Wound drainage: There will always be drainage from the wounds during the first 24 hours after surgery. Any drainage thereafter should be reported.
- Increasing swelling of the knee: The swelling should gradually recede over the first few weeks.
- Increasing knee pain: The post-operative pain should be well controlled with the medication you receive on discharge.
- Swelling of the calf: Progressively worsening swelling of the knee is suggestive of a DVT.
You will receive a follow up appointment to see me at approximately 6 weeks after surgery.
It is normal for the portal sites to remain sensitive for a while. This can sometimes persist up to 3 months after the operation. From time to time the dissolving of the stitches can cause a local tissue reaction leading to small bump being palpable. This also will clear up over time.