As a physiotherapist, I often have to advise my patients on what knee surgery involves, and when it may be required. If a knee is unstable, extremely painful and/ or decreases daily functional ability, surgery may be appropriate. Such intervention can be explored if conservative management such as physiotherapy, cortisone injections, acupuncture, pain control has brought about minimal effects.

The most common knee surgeries that we come across are knee arthroscopies and total knee replacements (TKRs). Knee arthroscopy is an examination of the inner joint structures which make up the knee. This surgery is used to investigate and diagnose knee injuries or problems1. It is performed through small incisions called portals. An arthroscope, a tool with a magnifying lens and optic fibres is used throughout the procedure. This is attached to a video camera for the surgeon to view the internal structures. Dependent upon the surgeon’s findings, arthroscopic repair of the joint can be carried out at the same time of the examination. This can be to remove loose bodies or to shave away at torn tissue (debridement). Tissue samples can also be taken (biopsy) to aid diagnosis. Most commonly the procedure takes place under local anaesthetic or a spinal nerve block.

How can AposTherapy® be used alongside an arthroscopy?

Post arthroscopy rehabilitation focuses on increasing control, joint stability, proprioception and pain reduction. Due to the joint damage, the surrounding muscles do not perform as well. This can cause shortening and tighter muscles (bracing) around the joint. This in turn compresses the joint, therefore increases joint pain. Surgery may not affect the performance of the tightened muscles, having little effect on pain levels. AposTherapy® can work towards reducing the muscle activity, allowing increased flexibility and reduced muscle bracing. This alleviates pain improving the knee function. ACPTs are a good source of information when considering surgery. We can provide up-to-date information about the surgery and the possible post-operative effects. In my next blog I shall talk about TKRs and how AposTherapy® can be used alongside surgery.