How should I care for myself at home after arthroscopic knee surgery?

Here's how to take care of yourself at home after arthroscopic knee surgery:
  • Take pain medication as prescribed. When you leave the hospital, your pain should be under good control. Your doctor may give you a prescription for pain medication to take at home. Take your pain medication as soon as you need it. Don't wait for the pain to get too bad. Don't take any pain medication that your doctor has not prescribed. Don't drink alcohol while taking pain medication.
  • Elevate your leg. For the first two days, keep your leg elevated above your heart. Lie flat and use two or three pillows to prop up your knee.
  • Use ice as directed by your doctor to relieve pain and swelling for 2 to 3 days.
  • Some pain medication can cause constipation. Take over-the-counter stool softeners or laxatives if needed. Drink at least 8 glasses of water each day.
  • Some patients have some nausea from the general anesthetic. If so, start by drinking clear liquids and slowly add solid foods as tolerated.
  • Keep your bandages clean and dry. Your doctor will let you know when you can remove your dressings and when it's okay to take a bath or shower without worrying about getting your incisions wet. In most cases, you can bathe or shower within 1 to 2 days.
  • Wear your compression stockings (TED hose) as long as your doctor advises. Compression stockings help prevent blood clots.
  • Watch for bleeding. You may have a small amount of bleeding from your surgical incisions. This is normal.
  • Watch for signs of infection at the incision site (increased redness or swelling, pus, or fever over 101 degrees F) and report them to your doctor.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.