FAQ Knee Arthroscopy



1.How long does shoulder arthroscopy take? 

The surgery usually takes about 1 hour. ACL reconstruction may take slightly longer, about 1 ½ hours.

2.How long will I be at the hospital? 

Patients usually are at the hospital about 4-5 hours. Although the surgery does not take that long, you will need time to check in, prepare for the procedure, have your surgery, and recover from the procedure before going home. Knee arthroscopy is typically an outpatient procedure, and you will go home the same day.

3.Do I need crutches? 

If you are having knee arthroscopy, you may bear weight on your surgical knee as soon as you feel comfortable. You may want crutches for a few days after surgery. They are not required, and the hospital doesn’t provide crutches. They can be rented for a small deposit. If you are having ACL reconstruction, you will weight bear as tolerated; however, most patients will need crutches for a few weeks.

4. When will I return to the office after surgery? 

Please make an appointment for 2-3 weeks after surgery. 

5.When can I drive? 

Dr. Burns will typically allow patients to drive 1-2 weeks after surgery, if you are walking well without crutches and off pain medication. You may drive as soon as you feel comfortable controlling a car. For most patients this is between 1 and 3 weeks.

6.When can I take a shower? 

Most patients take a shower 24 hours after their surgery. It is okay to remove the dressings and get the incisions wet as long as there is not significant drainage. Pat dry with a towel. Leave the the steri-strips on. You can cover the incisions with antibiotic ointment and a bandage if necessary. Do not soak your incisions in a tub, whirlpool, bath, or pool until they have completely healed. This usually takes 2 weeks.

7.Will I need therapy after surgery? 

You may need physical therapy; it is not required after routine arthroscopy. Patients having ACL reconstruction will require physical therapy.

8.What exercises should I perform after surgery?

Perform any exercises noted on your discharge instructions. If you have had ACL reconstruction, you will need to spend time in a CPM (continuous passive motion machine) as well as perform the exercises as instructed.

9.Do I have any restrictions after surgery?

Yes. Follow any restrictions provided on your discharge instructions. Dr. Burns recommends that you rest, ice, elevate and limit activity for the first 2-3 days; you may then begin walking and other everyday activities.

10. When can I resume normal activity like work and sports?

Be sure to discuss this with Dr. Burns. If you have a sedentary desk job, you may be able to return to work after 1-2 weeks. If you have a very heavy physical job, it may be 2-3 months or longer before you are able to resume normal duties, depending on the type of surgery. Sports rehabilitation after ACL reconstruction is typically 4-6 months.