Monday, April 15, 2024

Meniscus Tear Surgery Recovery Time

What Happens During Arthroscopic Meniscus Surgery

Meniscus Tear Recovery Time Can a Meniscus Tear Heal Without Surgery?

The most common procedure for a torn meniscus is knee arthroscopy. It usually takes less than an hour.

First, you receive anesthesia. The surgical team cleans the skin on your knee and covers the rest of your leg with a surgical drape. The team might place a clamp on your upper thigh to help with positioning during surgery.

The surgeon makes a few small stab incisions in your knee called portals. The team then fills the knee joint with a sterile fluid. The fluid helps control minor bleeding in the joint and washes away debris, which helps the surgeon see inside the joint.

The surgeon inserts a small tool called an arthroscope into the incision. An arthroscope is a thin tube with a small light and video camera at the end. The camera projects video images from inside your knee onto a monitor.

The surgeon uses the arthroscope to look at the tear and decide what surgical technique to perform:

  • Meniscus repair: The surgeon sews torn pieces of cartilage back together so they can heal on their own. However, because of tear type and blood supply, less than 10%of tears are actually repairable.
  • Partial meniscectomy: The surgeon trims and removes the damaged cartilage and leaves healthy meniscus tissue in place.

Your surgeon inserts other surgical tools depending on the technique used. When the meniscectomy or meniscus repair is complete, the surgeon closes the portals with stitches or surgical strips. Then the team will cover your knee with a bandage.

How To Prepare For Meniscus Surgery

The following are a few tips that can help you prepare for meniscus surgery-

  • Tell your doctor in detail about the injury.
  • Let your doctor know about your medical history and medicines in advance if you are taking any.
  • Get your diagnostic tests on time as recommended by the doctor to initiate the treatments.
  • Avoid eating food at least 8 hours before surgery to eliminate the risk of allergy to anesthesia.
  • Keep your home prepared before your surgery to make it more accessible and comfortable for your recovery duration.

Treatment For A Meniscal Tear

Unfortunately, meniscal tears do not heal without surgery.

Not everyone requires surgery and treatment is tailored to the patients individual needs. The less active patient may be able to return to a quieter lifestyle without surgery.

At arthroscopy, the torn meniscus will be repaired with sutures or partly resected and reshaped to a stable configuration, depending on the site and nature of the tear.

Arthroscopy is very effective in treating the symptoms of meniscal tears.

Surgery is recommended where patients endure ongoing episodes of

Certain types of meniscal tears can cause damage to the articular cartilage if left untreated. This can contribute to the development of premature osteoarthritis.

Non-surgical treatment involves physical therapy and rehabilitation to strengthen the quadriceps and hamstrings muscles to stabilise the knee and maintain range of movement.

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How Is A Torn Meniscus Treated

The arthroscopic meniscus repair is a procedure done to repair torn knee cartilage, usually for athletes. The torn meniscus is corrected via a minimally invasive procedure depending on the kind of injury.

The aftercare and recovery require postoperative protection to allow healing. Recovery is helped by physical therapy, which is done for the patient to regain the full function of the knee.

Recovery time for meniscus tear surgery can go anywhere from 3-6 months after surgery.

There are multiple types of procedures, including meniscus removal or meniscectomy, meniscus repair surgery or, in rare cases, meniscus replacement.

Regenexx Procedures For Meniscus Tears

Torn Meniscus Recovery Time: Town Center Orthopaedic Associates:

During appointments, Regenexx physicians examine your body in motion and often use Ultrasound to observe the inner workings of the joint in real time. This gives them a much more accurate picture of whats contributing to your pain, how function is affected, and ultimately, the root cause of the problem.

Once youve been evaluated, your physician will customize a treatment plan based on your specific needs. Our treatments include:

Regenexx-SD: A patented protocol using bone marrow concentrate that contains stem cells

Regenexx SCP: A proprietary formulation of platelet-rich plasma thats more concentrated than what a basic bedside centrifuge machine can produceRegenexx-PL: Platelet lysate, which is a highly specialized derivative of platelet-rich plasma

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Recovery Tips After Meniscus Surgery

A torn meniscus may sound scary, but this knee injury is becoming increasingly common around the world: these days, up to 66 people in 100,000 will tear a meniscus per year. In some of these cases, surgery is needed to treat and repair the damaged structure.

If youve undergone or are planning to undergo meniscus surgery, it may take some time before youre stretching your legs and moving with the same flexibility. We understand that taking time off after meniscus surgery can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to facilitate a successful and speedy recovery.

Rehabilitation And Physical Therapy

Physical therapy is usually carried out over a matter of weeks to make sure the knee regains its full range of motion. A physical therapist can teach the patient how to safely strengthen the quadriceps and other muscles that support the knee joint.

Rehabilitation goalsDuring the first several weeks after surgery, a patient will work with a doctor and physical therapist to:

  • Protect the surgical stitches and affected meniscus tissue
  • Reduce swelling
  • Extend the leg normally
  • Regain motor control
  • Recovering From Meniscus Repair Surgery

During the next phase of rehabilitation, a patient will work with a doctor and physical therapist to:

  • Stand on one leg, typically for 15 seconds or longer
  • Walk with a normal gait

Once these goals are achieved, physical therapy will continue for younger patients and any patient who wants to return to athletics. This last stage of physical therapy involves preparing the knee for dynamic movement and balance. For example, a physical therapist may teach a basketball player specific drills that prepare the knee for stopping, starting, and pivoting during gameplay.

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How Soon Can I Return To Work After Meniscus Surgery

The recovery time for meniscus surgery depends largely on what type of surgery you have. How soon you can get back to work will also depend on the type of work you doyou might miss a week of work or as much as three to six months.

Tears in the meniscusthe cartilage between the thigh and shin bonesare common. Sometimes doctors will recommend meniscus repair surgery, in which the torn edges are sutured back together. This is more commonly used in people under age 30.

For people over age 30, repair is often not possible because of age-related deterioration of the cartilage. In that case, the surgical approach will be removal of the damaged portions of the meniscus, a procedure called meniscectomy.

Youre likely to have better long-term results with a meniscus repair, but the healing time is longer.

Meniscus repair recovery

While everyones recovery is different, heres what you can typically expect with a repair surgery:

  • You may be on crutches for four to six weeks.
  • If your job mostly involves sitting at a desk, you may be able to get back to work in a week or two.
  • If your job requires being on your feet, you could be off work four to six weeks.
  • For a very physically active job or a return to sports, plan on a three- to six-month recovery period.


With a meniscectomy, youll be back in action more quickly. Heres what you may expect:

How to heal faster

Speak with an Orthopedic Specialist Today

Meniscus Tear Surgery Recovery Time: When Can I Get Back To Work

Recovery from meniscus surgery

The meniscus is a patch of soft tissue which is sandwiched within the knee joint. These vital tissues can become problematic over time due to their location in the body and load-bearing purposes.

The symptoms of meniscus issues tend to require surgical intervention. While these surgeries can help return a knee to normal function, they may interfere with the persons lifestyle. These issues may be helped through adequate research, extensive preparation, and the application of regenerative therapies.

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What Types Of Meniscus Tears Can Be Treated With Regenexx Regenerative Orthopedic Procedures

Tears that occur in the red zone of your meniscus and have the best blood circulation heal the best with regenerative orthopedic procedures. The tears we see and treat most often are listed below however, other types of tears may also benefit from regenerative orthopedic procedures. After a thorough examination and consultation, your Regenexx practitioner can answer this question more definitively.

Meniscus Flap TearThese tears usually involve a small percentage of the meniscus and do not have the ability to heal on their own because they occur in an area that does not have a good blood supply. Flap tears are the type most commonly trimmed or shaved, leading to long-term issues.

Bucket Handle Meniscus TearThe entire inner rim of the medial meniscus can be torn in what is called a bucket handle tear. These tears usually occur in an area of good blood supply in the meniscus

Complex Degenerative Meniscus TearsThese tears of the meniscus are usually seen as a part of the overall condition of osteoarthritis of the knees in older adults and cause the menisci to fray and tear in multiple directions.

What Are The Benefits Of Surgery

The meniscus is a vital part of the body that is central for shock absorption and load transmission in the knees. Your knees are a crucial body part subjected to up to 5 times your body weight whenever you are active.

50% of the force taken by a straight knee is transmitted to the meniscus. In addition, 85% of the force is taken by it with a 90-degree bent knee.

When you lose part of your meniscus, the pressure on your articular or gliding cartilage increases significantly, and this causes degeneration.

When you undergo meniscus repair surgery, you preserve the tissue and avoid problems such as mentioned.

Recovering from surgical meniscus repair takes longer than a meniscectomy. However, any repairable meniscus should be restored rather than removed.

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What Are My Treatment Options

Treatment for a meniscus tear will depend on its size, what kind it is, and where itâs located within the cartilage. Most likely, your doctor will recommend that you rest, use pain relievers, and apply ice to you knee to keep the swelling down. They may also suggest physical therapy. This will help to strengthen the muscles around your knee and keep it stable.

If these treatments donât work — or if your injury is severe — they might recommend surgery. To be sure, your doctor will probably have an MRI done. And they might look at the tear with an arthroscope. Thatâs a thin tool that has a camera and light at the end. It allows doctors to see inside your joints.

If your doctorâs exam shows your meniscus tear is mild , you may not need surgery. If itâs Grade 3, you probably will. Your doctor might choose to do any of the following:

  • Arthroscopic repair. Your doctor will make small cuts in your knee. Theyâll insert an arthroscope to get a good look at the tear. Then theyâll place small devices that look like darts along the tear to stitch it up. Your body will absorb these over time.
  • Arthroscopic partial meniscectomy. Your doctor will remove a piece of the torn meniscus so your knee can function normally.
  • Arthroscopic total meniscectomy. During this procedure, your doctor will remove the whole meniscus.

How Can You Treat A Torn Meniscus At Home

Can A Meniscus Tear Heal?  Howard J. Luks, MD

The following are a few home remedies that may help you reduce discomfort and pain caused due to meniscus tear –

  • Rest the knee: Donât put too much weight on the knee, especially if its painful. Use crutches when you have to move. Wear a brace on the joint whenever possible to reduce the pressure on the joint.
  • Ice the knee: Ice your knee for at least 20 to 30 minutes every 3 to 4 hours for at least 2 to 3 days after the injury till the swelling is gone.
  • Compress the joint: Compress the knee joint by wrapping it tightly with an elastic bandage or a neoprene-type sleeve. This helps control and reduce the swelling.
  • Elevate the knee: Elevate the knee by placing a pillow under your heel whenever you are sitting or lying down.
  • Take the pain and anti-inflammatory medications: Pain relievers or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , help reduce swelling in the injured joint. However, it is best to get a prescription from an orthopedic doctor near you before using such drugs.
  • Exercises: Perform stretching and strengthening exercises as directed by the doctor. This will help reduce stress on the knee joint. However, be careful about overstretching as that may exacerbate the injury.
  • Avoid high-impact activities: Avoid high-impact activities such as running and jumping till the injury has fully healed.

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Arthroscopic Knee Surgery Recovery

After a meniscectomy, your surgeon will likely advise physical therapy to put you on the best path toward recovery. The day after your surgery, you will need to see your physical therapist to:

  • Change your dressings
  • Take initial measurements
  • Learn an initial home exercise program

Your physical therapist will also review information about what to expect, how to take care of your incisions and how to manage your pain. Handouts outlining everything you will learn will be provided.

Physical therapy appointments will be scheduled twice a week for approximately 6 to 8 weeks.

Does Every Meniscus Injury Need Surgery

Some people need surgery for a torn meniscus, but some dont. The decision depends on:

  • Type, size and location of the tear.
  • Your activity level and lifestyle.
  • Related injuries .
  • Presence of symptoms

Your healthcare professional may suggest you first try nonsurgical treatments, such as :

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What Is The Average Recovery Time For A Meniscus Tear Surgery

If you have a partial or total meniscectomy, you can expect your recovery to take about a month. If your meniscus was repaired, it may take as long as 3 months.

How long does it take to walk after meniscus surgery?

How quickly this progress occurs varies by surgeon, but a typical range is 4-8 weeks. Patients are usually out of the brace and walking without crutches around 2-3 months. When a patient is able to return to work depends on many factors.

How long does pain last after meniscus repair surgery?

Pain is quite common, most often in the area where you had pain before surgery, in the soft tissues below the knee cap, over the athroscopy wounds and occasionally the whole knee. The pain settles usually within two to three weeks, but may take upwards of six weeks. Swelling in the whole knee up to six weeks.

Arthroscopic Repair Of Articular Cartilage Injury

Meniscus Recovery Routine: 5 exercises with a physical therapist

Articular cartilage is the cartilage at the end of the bones. Damage can occur from trauma or normal wear and tear. Arthroscopy is used to remove loose pieces of cartilage. A microfracture procedure makes tiny holes in the bone marrow of the damaged cartilage to generate new cartilage.

After surgery the joint must be protected while the cartilage heals. No weight bearing is permitted for the first few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy to restore mobility may include continuous passive movement therapy which moves the joint through ROM constantly. Rehabilitation is focused on strengthening the joint and muscles.

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Recovery After Meniscus Surgery

Recovery after the meniscus surgery generally depends on the severity of the tear in the tissue. Therefore, it is very important to continue physiotherapy to help speed up the recovery. Typically, complete recovery after meniscus surgery takes about 4-6 months. You can start doing limited physical activity such as walking even within a week after the surgery. You can promote healing after knee reconstruction surgery by:

  • Managing your pain effectively You should not push through your pain. Describe your pain accurately to the doctor. Make sure you are not over or under-medicating.
  • Starting to walk as soon as possible. It improves recovery and even lowers the risk of blood clots developing.
  • Getting physical therapy Make sure you are receiving the right physiotherapy. Do not skip any exercise no matter how hard it is. At the same time, do not push yourself as over-exercising can harm the knee instead of helping. Follow your physiotherapistâs instructions accurately.
  • Resting Patients are often anxious about returning to their daily activities as soon as possible. However, it is important to rest the knee as well as to boost healing.

Keep On Top Of Your Strengthening Exercise

An essential component of the recovery process is meeting with a physical therapist who will give you an exercise plan. These approved exercises will help immensely in restoring your knees strength, movement, and flexibility if youre serious about getting back on your feet as soon as possible, follow your physical therapists directions carefully.Attend All Of Your Follow Up Appointments

After meniscus surgery, your doctor will want to check in on your progress semi-regularly. Full recovery can vary, and it will be up to your doctor to determine how you are recovering and when you can return to work/sports/regular activities. You wont have an accurate idea of your own recovery timeline if you skip appointments.

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Risks With Knee Arthroscopy

Complications are not common but can occur.

Prior to making any decision to have surgery, it is important that you understand the potential risks so that you can make an informed decision regarding the advantages and disadvantages of surgery.

The following list is by no means exhaustive, so it is important to discuss your concerns with me.

General surgical risks include:

  • Postoperative bleeding
  • Blood clots in the leg or lung.

Apart from surgical risks, medical and anaesthetic complications can occur, and these can affect your general health and well-being.

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