How to Reduce Scarring Following Knee Surgery
Orthopaedic surgical procedures have changed dramatically during the last five or six decades. One of the discipline’s most significant advances has been the development of minimally invasive techniques that have made it unnecessary to expose the entire joint. The technique in question is known as arthroscopy. Although its applications include procedures on the hip and shoulder joints, it is most frequently employed to perform knee surgery.
The joints are complex structures. They employ a combination of muscles, tendons, and ligaments to stabilise them and facilitate the articulation between bones, enabling us to move freely and perform our day-to-day tasks. In addition to the soft tissues mentioned, the articulating surfaces of the bones also have a layer of protective cartilage. This coating reduces friction and ensures the two surfaces can glide smoothly over one another when in motion. A fluid-filled membrane encloses the moving parts to provide added lubrication. Damage to any one of these components can lead to pain, swelling, and impaired mobility that may require knee surgery.
Arthroscopic procedures require only a couple of keyhole-sized incisions. Consequently, any visible post-operative scarring will generally tend to be minimal. However, the minimally invasive approach is not a suitable option for all patients. Exposing the entire joint involves an incision that is 20 to 25cm long. It thus carries a much greater likelihood that a patient will retain a visible and possibly lifelong ugly scar. Fortunately, you can minimise the extent of your scarring with appropriate maintenance and aftercare. Here are a few simple tips on how you can help to reduce the visible signs after undergoing knee surgery.
Keep it Clean
The hospital will have provided detailed instructions on caring for your wound. Above all, you must keep it clean and apply a fresh dressing whenever it appears necessary to avoid the risk of a secondary infection.
Keep it Dry
It is essential to keep the wound dry to assist the healing process. Doing so will generally mean avoiding pools, hot tubs, and even baths for at least two months following your operation or until your surgeon confirms it is safe to resume your customary ablutions.
The site may become itchy following your knee surgery as the new tissue forms. Resist the temptation to scratch or pick off the scabs. Your scar will be less noticeable if you allow them to fall off naturally.
Use Only Recommended Products
Your doctor will advise you regarding any antiseptic cream or ointment. Be sure to adhere strictly to those recommendations.
Choose a Skilled and Experienced Knee Surgeon
Read more on Knee Replacement Surgery Facts.