Post op. rehab protocol after meniscus repair surgery


Q: Dear Doctor, I tore my meniscus, and got a meniscus repair surgery almost 3 weeks ago! I'm worry about the post op protocol. I checked internet, and for a meniscus repair, the protocol is to not put weight on the knee for a good 4 weeks, using a brace on a fully extended knee! However, my doctor told me it was ok to put weight on the knee!He told me to use the cruches for 2 weeks only and to put my foot on the ground when i walk with them. Really different protocols as you can see! Weight bearing or not weight bearing! I can walk without cruches now, i limp a bit, but no pain! however i limit that to my room, when I got out i still use my cruches. Doctor, could you explain to me why there are 2 different protocol for the meniscus repair rehab? Is my doctor advise ok?


A:   The post operatory rehabilitation protocols for meniscus repair surgery have general guidelines that must be followed, such as the start of partial and progressive weight bearing at week 4; but the surgeon, depending on several factors like: age, grade of the meniscus rupture and clinical progress, may do changes and adapt the protocol to a given patient in particular. In your case possibly because your clinical progress has been favourable, positive, and you are a young, active individual, the surgeon decided to start partial weight bearing at week 3 instead the week 4. In the same manner, the brace in extension may be used as needed, and the crutches are helping you to comply with the “progressive” and partial weight bearing. It is a good sign that you are not having any remarkable pain, so you may begin or continue your physical therapy program aimed basically to regain knee's complete range of motion, meaning: flexion and extension, and strengthen  your leg muscles (quads). The healing time may be different for each patient in particular, but generally we can expect successful recovery from a meniscus repair surgery by a gradual resolution of symptoms over 6 weeks with a return to normal activity by 3 months.

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