Meniscus Surgery: Recovery Time

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Meniscus Surgery: Recovery Time

Topic Overview

Surgery to repair a torn meniscus involves rehabilitation, although it varies depending on the injury, the type of surgery, and your orthopedist's preference. In general, meniscus surgery is followed by a period of rest, walking, and selected exercises.

Every recovery is different and depends on many factors. But here are some typical times for returning to activities.

Time needed to return to activities
  Uncomplicated partial meniscectomy Meniscus repair surgery
Weight bearing As tolerated With a brace
Time on crutches 2 to 7 days 4 to 6 weeks
Driving, if the affected leg is to be used for gas/brake or clutch 1 to 2 weeks, if you have regained motion with minimal pain and you are not taking narcotics 4 to 6 weeks
Regain full range of motion 1 to 2 weeks 4 to 6 weeks (motion is generally limited to 90 degrees for the first 4 to 6 weeks to allow meniscus to heal)
Return to heavy work or sports 4 to 6 weeks, if you have regained motion and strength and your knee is not swollen or painful 3 to 6 months

Credits

By Healthwise Staff
Primary Medical Reviewer William H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Specialist Medical Reviewer Freddie H. Fu, MD, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
Last Revised September 10, 2010

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