knee chondroplasty - how long off work

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After a long run around and three different consultants - all with differing diagnoses. I went in on Thursday for my third knee arthroscopy.

I was  and still am nervous. The first in late 2013, debridement and microfracture, I was one of the 5% for whom things got worse - couldn't bend or kneel and off work for 4 months. Second in 2015, another debridement, microfracture and cutting of fat pad. Better results but gradual deterioration.

So back and forth to physio and consultants and the end result was  Thursday's op. I signed a consent form for him to do what he liked really - anything in a bid to get rid of the pain. 

Ended up with just the arthroscopic chondroplasty. 

So I am home doing exercises properly - have done them since the first op everyday anyway. Obviously swollen and tight at the moment. Getting around and trying to keep mobile and bending as much as I can

Now the question is how long should I be off work for? I've had varying answers from one week to 6-8. My sick note says 6 weeks. I do get full sick pay so money is not the problem.

I have to be able to drive for work, get in and out of the car - I work in the community. I have to be able to get up and down off the floor - I work with disabled pre-schoolers in their homes. I have to be able to kneel and high kneel. 

At the moment I have two roles at work - each 0.5 of my week.

The other half is more office based arranging meetings, chairing them and typing up minutes.

Previously the pain was also related to having my knee at right angles so sitting was an issue.

I am very concerned that this op should not fail - I don't want anything I do to compromise it. 

Does anyone have any answers or advice? I know it's a bit of an open ended question. My GP is concerned that it doesn't go wrong and said he wouldn't send me back till I was fit. 

Thank you all in advance


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4 Replies

  • Posted

    I really hope this works for you this time.

    Why rush back to work if your on full pay and surely if your Dr says your not ready at 6 weeks then stay off until you are.

    Your health comes first.

    Best wishes,


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    • Posted

      Thank you - why rush back to work? Guilt I suppose! Not only have I had the left knee surgeries in 2013 and 2015. I had the right knee done in 2014. I've also had two prolapse surgeries in 2016 and 2017. So major surgeries every year - so guilt - very probably.

      We carry our own caseload at work so if I'm not there then the work doesn't get done really - apart from what I can manage to get other people to do. I don't think I'm indispensable but I do know nobody else will be there to offer support to my caseload of clients.

      However as my job has probably, if not caused, then certainly exacerbated both of the medical issues I've had then I don't feel too bad about it. The surgeries are not something I have wanted or entered into lightly.

      I have booked a review appointment with my gp for a couple of weeks time. I don't think he'll let me go back to work but at least I can say to work I have asked the question! 

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  • Posted

    My right knee I had two of the clean out ops done which lasted about 6 months if that then in was decided a half knee replacement was needed... this I've had and I still have pain on inside of knee nearly a yr after ...I struggle in bed as it stiffened and is really painful to move from one position to another but it's just in bed.i walk fine with no pain and I've been doing 16 to 20km on a bike no probs. My other knee I've had 2 exactly the same microfractures etc and it's really painful I've had a third clean out on it and I'm waiting to again have a half knee op on this one....because of lack of moving earlier after knee replacement my weight is an issue so they won't do my second until I get some weight off

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    • Posted

      I have seen one consultant who said a partial knee replacement then changed his mind. Another who said an osteotomy to realign my knee/leg - then changed his mind. Then for a thought of a knee cap replacement - again changed to this last surgery which ended up just(!!) as a chondroplasty. I remember my dad having this done some 40+ years ago when it was a major open wound, two weeks in hospital and crutches for goodness knows how long.  Sometimes I think keyhole surgery makes you think it's just a minor op.

      So this is where I am now - sounds similar to you - I can't keep having these debridements - there'll be nothing left soon!

      My knee feels tight today and quite swollen - I don't remember the lack of bend from before - it's quite painful still - but I keep on with the exercises. 

      In my heart I don't think this is the end of the problem but I'll see

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