What You Need to Know About Getting a Knee Meniscectomy in Thousand Oaks
What You Need to Know About Getting a Knee Meniscectomy
If you’ve torn your meniscus and you’re scheduled to get a knee meniscectomy, here’s what you need to know about them.
Have you recently been diagnosed with a torn meniscus? If so, you’re not alone.
Meniscal tears are one of the most common knee injuries a person can experience.
If you’re dealing with a torn meniscus, your physician may recommend a knee meniscectomy to remove the damaged tissue and eliminate your symptoms.
It’s totally normal to feel nervous going into any kind of surgery. But, don’t let your nerves stop you from getting the treatment you need.
Read on to learn everything you need to know about a knee meniscectomy. That way, you can feel confident and relaxed going into your procedure.
What is a Knee Meniscectomy?
A knee meniscectomy is a type of arthroscopic surgery.
It involves making small incisions (approximately 1 centimeter) in the knee and then inserting a camera to look inside of the knee joint.
Your surgeon will use the camera to guide them as they remove torn, damaged cartilage using instruments like scissors and small shavers.
While examining the knee joint, the surgeon will also look for other issues, including signs of arthritis and loose pieces of cartilage.
How to Prepare for a Knee Meniscectomy
If you’re getting ready to undergo a knee meniscectomy, these tips can help you ensure that you are prepared for your surgery:
- Talk to your doctor to find out whether or not you should stop taking blood-thinning medications like warfarin or aspirin.
- Tell your doctor about all medications you’re taking, including vitamins and supplements — they’ll tell you which ones you should stop taking prior to your surgery.
- Prepare an advance care plan to let your doctor and family members know your specific health care wishes.
Your surgeon will also tell you to stop eating and drinking the night before your surgery. Be sure to follow these instructions. Otherwise, your surgery may end up being canceled.
You should also shower or bathe the night before your surgery and avoid applying any kind of lotion, perfume, or deodorant. Remember not to wear any jewelry or contact lenses, either.
During the Surgery
There is very little pain associated with a meniscectomy procedure, which typically takes about one hour. You will have an anesthesiologist with you for the entire procedure to keep you comfortable.
There are a few different types of anesthesia that may be used during your procedure, including the following:
This type of anesthesia allows you to sleep through the entire procedure. You’ll wake up when the surgery is over.
Examples of regional anesthesia include epidurals and spinal anesthesia. This is the most acceptable type of anesthesia for a meniscectomy procedure. It will allow you to stay awake during the procedure.
Some surgeons also perform meniscectomies under local anesthesia. This type of anesthesia affects a smaller portion of the body — in the case of a meniscectomy, just the knee joint.
Proper Aftercare Following a Knee Meniscectomy
It’s normal to feel some pain and discomfort when your surgery is finished and the anesthesia has worn off. Be sure to follow these aftercare guidelines to ensure your knee heals properly following the procedure.
Limit activity as much as possible for the first few days and make sure you’re getting plenty of sleep. This will help your knee heal faster.
When you walk around with a brace or crutches, avoid putting any weight on your leg until your doctor gives you permission.
After 1-2 weeks, you will most likely be able to begin driving again. Depending on the activity level associated with your job, you may be able to go back to work at this time, too.
If you have an active job, you may need to stay out of work for 4-6 weeks while your knee continues to heal.
Remember to do your rehab exercises regularly, too. They’ll help you improve the range of motion in your knee and increase your muscle strength.
You can return to your regular diet following your surgery.
You may find that you have an upset stomach in the days following your surgery. If this is the case, stick to a bland diet and eat foods like rice, toast, and plain chicken.
Drink plenty of water, too, to ensure you stay hydrated.
If you stopped taking any medications prior to your surgery, ask your doctor when you can start taking them again.
As for your pain medications, be sure to take them exactly as directed. The same goes for antibiotics, which will help prevent wound infections following your surgery.
Some people react badly to pain medications. If you feel that your pain medications are upsetting your stomach or causing other issues, let your doctor know. They may prescribe a different medication.
Proper Incision Care
If there is a bandage placed on top of your incisions, be sure to keep the bandage clean and dry. Cover it with plastic when you take a shower.
If there are strips of tape covering the incisions, leave that tape in place until it falls off on its own (about a week or so). Keep these strips of tape clean and dry, too.
Regular Ice and Elevation
It’s common to experience some pain and swelling after your meniscectomy. Apply ice packs to the knee every few hours in 10- or 20-minute increments. Avoid putting ice packs directly on your skin.
Elevate your leg for the first 2-3 days following your surgery. Keep it above your heart to minimize swelling.
Your doctor may also require you to wear support stockings to prevent blood clots.
Be sure to go to all of your follow-up appointments as they’re scheduled.
These appointments allow your doctor to keep an eye on your recovery. They also provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and express any concerns you may have.
Make sure you’re attending your physical therapy appointments, too. Physical therapy usually lasts for several weeks and will help you improve your range of motion and ensure your knee heals properly.
Schedule Your Knee Meniscectomy Today
Now that you know more about a knee meniscectomy procedure, are you ready to schedule yours?
If you live in or around the Westlake Village, California area, contact us today to schedule a consultation.
We’ll evaluate your symptoms and help you determine which type of knee treatment is best for your condition.