Choosing the right knee surgeon – what to look out for

Knee Surgery is a common procedure and is becoming increasingly so due to the fact that Australians are becoming heavier and living longer – therefore placing their knees under increased, and longer lasting stress.

This does not mean however that knee surgery is something that you undertake lightly and in many cases it’s a huge decision for the patient.

Finding the right knee surgeon is absolutely essential to help make the whole process a little less daunting.

Take some time to really research the best person for you to trust with carrying out your knee surgery considering some of the points below:

Word of Mouth Recommendations

If any of your friends and family have had knee surgery in the past, it may be worth asking them who carried out the operation and whether they would recommend them.

This will offer you the reassurance of entrusting your knee to someone who comes pre approved by someone who you trust. Equally important is if you know of people who have had bad experiences with knee surgeons, as this can give you an idea of certain surgeons best avoided.

Ask for an honest answer

It may seem like something you would expect from a surgeon however you need to make a point of requesting an open and honest answer regarding your knee surgery.

Although the operation does have a good success rate, it is not a foolproof formula and may in fact not be the right option for everyone suffering knee problems.

Any good surgeon will be able to advise you about whether a knee replacement will be beneficial to you or not and whether they truly think it’s worth it.

Pre and Post Surgery Care

The knee is the most complex joint in the whole human body. It therefore isn’t simply a matter of replacing it once it’s faulty and you being allowed to spring back to health. For the optimum chances of a fully successful surgery, you’ll want to find a knee surgeon who gives extensive pre and post surgery care.

This can include strengthening exercises, physical therapy sessions, advice regarding lifestyle and diet. Any surgeon who believes their job is over once they leave the operating theatre is not seeing the full picture and may not be the best option for you.

Adelaide knee surgeon

Experience Matters

Although the majority of knee surgeons work with the elder population, there are many who specialize in younger patients.

Research the best surgeon for your needs – these will vary greatly depending on whether you are a thirty year old athlete, a sixty year old office worker or an eighty year old pensioner.

As leading Adelaide orthopaedic surgeon Dr Spriggins once said: “A good surgeon will recognize if they are not experienced in your specific circumstances and will able to refer you to someone more appropriate.”

Knee arthroscope recovery time – how long is it

What is a knee arthroscopy?

If you break down the word ‘arthroscopy’ it literally means ‘joint viewed’. This is done through a small camera and helps to give doctors an accurate view of the inside of the knee, therefore enabling them to correctly identify and treat knee problems.

It is the result of years of technological advancements and today arthroscopies are usually done using monitors and high resolution cameras.

This medical journy outlines how it works:

After the surgery

If you’re having an arthroscopy it’s highly likely you’ll be seen on an outpatient basis meaning that you may not spend very much time at all in hospital. However it’s important to take things easy and not to see this as a sign that you’re suddenly ‘fixed’.

After the surgeon has repaired everything, they will close your incisions and cover them with a bandage. After this you’ll be taken to a recovery room and most patients will then be allowed home within 1-2 hours of leaving the operating theatre.

Doctors will monitor you in case you experience any after effects of the anesthetic and to ensure that you are fit to leave the hospital.

Knee arthroscope recovery time

Heading home

It’s essential that you have somebody to accompany you home from the hospital, ideally in a car as you’ll have limited mobility directly after the surgery has been performed. You may want to also consider arranging help around the house for the following days as it’s likely that you may need assistance with various elements of your day to day routine.

Generally, knee arthroscopies have a far quicker recovery time than traditional open knee surgery due to the fact that the incisions are smaller and the surgery itself is less invasive.

Points to remember

  • There may be swelling around the knee which you can help to reduce by applying ice. You also need to keep your leg elevated for as much time as possible in the days immediately after your surgery.
  • Showering and bathing are not advised immediately after your arthroscopy. Your dressings (which the hospital will apply) will help to keep your incisions clean and dry.
  • You may be on crutches for up to a week after your arthroscopy and you are always advised against bearing weight on the knee until your surgeon has advised it safe to do so.
  • It is sometimes necessary to take painkillers after surgery and your surgeon may prescribe aspirin to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Many patients return to gentle exercise around 6-8 weeks after an arthroscopy but always consult your surgeon regarding the best time for you. The speed of recovery will generally be directly linked to the severity of the damage in your knee however you can certainly help things by taking all the advice of your surgeon and completing any post operative exercises recommended to you.