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Physical therapy for arthroscopic procedures

What are arthroscopic procedures?

The word “arthroscopy” is derived from two Greek words: “arthro,” or joint, and “skopein,” or “to look.” Together, they mean “to look inside the joint,” which is the purpose of an arthroscopic procedure.

To perform an arthroscopy, the orthopedic surgeon makes an incision in the skin and inserts a thin tube that contains a small lighting system and lens. These devices illuminate the structures within the joint, allowing the surgeon to see, understand, and repair the issue.

Though diagnosing joint conditions usually begins with a physical examination and X-rays, it’s sometimes necessary to perform an arthroscopic procedure as well, in order to pinpoint exactly what’s causing the problem. Typically, arthroscopies reveal that inflammation or an acute or chronic injury is the underlying cause of the joint problem.

Source: OrthoInfo

Possible complications of arthroscopic procedures

Though arthroscopic procedures are relatively routine, complications can occur. For example, infection, phlebitis, excessive bleeding or swelling, instrument breakage, or damage to the blood vessels or nerves can result. However, only less than 1 percent of all arthroscopic procedures result in complications.

That said, all patients who undergo an arthroscopic procedure will take a few days to heal. The procedure requires one or more small puncture wounds, which must be cleaned, dressed, and treated appropriately. It also may take several weeks or longer for the joint to recover after the procedure.

The most common complications of arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Infection
  • Phlebitis
  • Bleeding or swelling
  • Damage to the blood vessels or nerves

Source: OrthoInfo

Why do patients need arthroscopic procedures?

Patients with inflammation in the joint, an injury to the joint, or joint pain for any other reason — especially unexplained reasons — may find that an arthroscopy will help their surgeon identify the cause of their discomfort and address it appropriately.

An arthroscopy can diagnose and treat a variety of conditions in any joint, though it’s most often used to treat the knee, shoulder, elbow, ankle, hip, or wrist. The most common arthroscopic procedures target the knee and shoulder.

The most common reasons for arthroscopic procedures include:

  • Cartilage problems in the knee
  • Meniscus problems in the knee
  • Rotator cuff repairs in the shoulder

Source: VeryWellHealth

Physical therapy for arthroscopic procedures

Recovering from an arthroscopic procedure requires a careful balance of rest, flexibility exercises, and strength training. It’s vital that patients work to recover the full range of joint motion following their procedure; working with a physical therapist is the best way to do this safely and effectively.

Depending on your procedure, your doctor may recommend beginning physical therapy immediately after surgery or waiting about a week or so for swelling and inflammation to go down. Regardless of when your physical therapy regimen begins, your PT will recommend gentle, steady, low-impact exercises, tailored to your needs and condition.

Source: VeryWellHealth

Luna — physical therapy at your home to help with arthroscopic procedures

Luna PTs specialize in treating patients recovering from arthroscopic procedures. Our PTs are experts in developing treatment programs designed to relieve pain and restore range of motion after arthroscopic surgeries.

The best part? With Luna, patients can receive physical therapy right in the comfort of their own homes. Our therapists come to you — it’s physical therapy, delivered.

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