Meniscus Tear Surgery Recovery

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:

  • Driving.
  • 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.

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