Swelling can be normal after many injuries and some surgeries. When should a patient worry about it, though? In this Ask Dr. Geier video, I explain whether it’s normal to have knee swelling after arthroscopic surgery.

Wallace asks:
Is it normal to have swelling on the knee 3 weeks after arthroscopic surgery to repair a meniscus tear?

When an orthopedic surgeon performs arthroscopic surgery of any joint – the knee, shoulder, elbow and more – we run a lot of fluid through the joint to distend it and improve our visibility. We try to remove that fluid at the end of the surgery, but swelling after knee surgery can be common.

How long the swelling is present depends on what was done in the surgery. More invasive surgeries, like ACL reconstructions, have more swelling because the bones and the tunnels drilled bleed somewhat. Likewise, although not to the same extent, a surgery to sew a meniscus tear together – a meniscus repair – can have swelling for several weeks.

Man with swelling after knee surgery

In this video, I share some thoughts on what to look for and what you might ask your surgeon about your swelling after knee surgery.

Also read:
Swelling and stiffness after meniscus surgery
When can you return to physical activity after knee surgery?

Please remember, while I appreciate your questions, I cannot and will not offer specific medical advice by email, on my website, on my podcast, or in social media. My responses are meant to provide general medical information and education. Please consult your physician or health care provider for your specific medical concerns.

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