How long should I take off work after meniscus surgery?
Going back to your regular activities may be done a few weeks after meniscus surgery, but you may need to continue using crutches to walk for the time being.
You may return to work within 1 to 2 weeks post-operation for desk work. If you need to stand and walk around frequently, it may take about 4 to 6 weeks, and if your job is physically demanding, it may take around 3 to 6 months for your to resume.
How long do I have to stay off my knee after meniscus surgery?
You will be asked not to put weight on your operated knee for about 2 weeks after your surgery, but this length of time will depend on the type of surgery done. Partial removal of the meniscus (partial meniscectomy) takes longer to recover than a meniscus repair.
During rehabilitation, your physical therapist will assist you with partial weight-bearing and range of motion exercises 1 to 2 days post-surgery. But your range of motion and weight-bearing capacity will improve in about 4 to 8 weeks.
What is the fastest way to recover from meniscus surgery?
You can expect a quick recovery after a meniscus surgery if you strictly follow the recommendations of your doctor and the exercises provided by your physical therapist. Remember to do the following:
- Do not skip your medications. Take them as prescribed.
- Elevate your leg and apply ice wrapped in a towel for 20 minutes every 1 to 2 hours to minimize pain and swelling.
- If you are provided with a brace, keep it on until your doctor tells you to remove it.
- Keep your wound dry and avoid putting any ointment unless prescribed by your doctor.
- Avoid putting weight on your operated leg unless you are asked by your doctor or physical therapist.
- Rest well and do not rush the healing process.
What should I avoid doing after meniscus surgery?
It will take some time before you can fully heal from meniscus surgery. The following should be avoided for a speedy recovery:
- Prolonged sitting unless your leg is elevated.
- Getting your surgical wound wet.
- Knee bending less than 90 degrees.
- Squatting, twisting, and pivoting.
- Walking without your brace or crutches (if prescribed) until you are cleared by your doctor.
- Putting pillows behind the knee. Place a pillow under your ankle instead to prevent your knee from bending.
How much pain is normal after meniscus surgery?
You will experience pain right after and until a few weeks post-surgery. The leg will also feel sore and stiff. For some patients, the pain may increase 3 days after surgery even with pain medications. This is normal. After about a week, the swelling should decrease and the pain should be tolerable.
Dr Aarti is an MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery) from Baroda Medical College (The Maharaja Sayajirao University, Baroda). Dr. Aarti has also completed her Masters of Medical Science and Technology from the prestigious Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur.