Similar to other joints in the body, your knees are vital to daily life and any injury or damage to this area can make even simple activities difficult. Knee injuries and chronic knee pain are common among those that participate in high impact sports or people that suffer from arthritis. If conservative treatments have not helped, there is no need to continue to suffer from ongoing knee pain or immobility. Knee surgery can offer much-needed relief, allowing you to stand, walk, and run normally again.
Do you need knee surgery?
Your physician or surgeon will provide a final recommendation on whether knee surgery is best for you based on your symptoms, current treatments, and overall health.
In many cases, your doctor will recommend knee surgery if you:
- Experience persistent knee pain and medication or therapy has not helped resolve the pain
- Have major damage to the knee joint from a degenerative condition like osteoarthritis
- Cannot perform regular day-to-day activities as a result of the pain or stiffness in your knee
What are the procedures for knee surgery?
We focus on two main types of knee surgery at the Okanagan Health Surgical Centre, including:
- Arthroscopic Knee Surgery - the surgeon makes a small incision in your knee and inserts an arthroscope, or camera, to examine the damaged knee tissues. Once the problem area is identified, the surgeon will make any repairs to restore the tissue.
- ACL Reconstruction - the surgeon corrects tears to the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). The procedure involves replacing the damaged ligament with a healthy one from another area in your body or from a donor.
How should you prepare for surgery?
To ensure your surgery and recovery go as smoothly as possible by:
- Planning time off from work and any other obligations
- Confirming you have a trusted caregiver to transport you to the clinic and take care of you at home following your procedure
- Abstaining from alcohol, smoking, and any medications or supplements that can impede blood clotting, such as aspirin
- Fasting at the designated time before your scheduled surgery
Your surgeon will provide you with a more detailed list of instructions to prepare for your specific procedure.
What are the recovery times after surgery?
Similar to other surgeries involving a small incision, Arthroscopic Knee Surgery usually requires a short recovery time. Most patients are able to move their knee within 3 weeks following surgery, and they are able to return to most of their normal activities by 6 to 8 weeks.
If you have had ACL Reconstruction, you will need a longer recovery time, as the procedure requires larger incisions in multiple areas of the body to replace the original damaged ligament. With careful adherence to your surgeon’s prescribed rehabilitation plan, it is possible to return to normal activities within 6 months.
To ensure a smooth recovery, it is important to carefully follow your surgeon’s instructions on your specific recommended resting periods and activities to avoid, as these recommendations will vary according to each patient’s unique circumstances.
When other treatments have failed to provide the right results, knee surgery can be a viable solution to correct serious damage, injury, or inflammation in the knee.
Want to learn more about the process and ideal candidates for knee surgery? Contact the Okanagan Health Surgical Centre today at: 250-868-9799.