The average recovery time and return to normal activities following an arthroscopy is one to two months, according to Cleveland Clinic. Many doctors clear the patient to return to work about a week after surgery. Several factors determine the exact amount of time needed for a full recovery.
Immediately after surgery, the patient uses crutches to protect the knee from the weight of the body. Typically, a patient participates in a three-phase program of physical therapy to strengthen the knee. Phase one addresses balance and coordination. Phase two helps the patient regain full range of motion and rebuild strength. Upon reaching phase three, the patient resumes normal activity, explains the Cleveland Clinic.