It may take as long as 6 months before your knee is strong enough for hard physical work or certain sports. You will need to build your strength and the motion of your joint with rehabilitation (rehab) exercises. In time, your knee will likely be stronger and more stable than it was before the surgery.
Knee pain, osteoarthritis, re-injury, inadequate rehabilitation, and spontaneous osteonecrosis are potential long-term problems after meniscus surgery. Talk with your healthcare provider about treatments to help you find relief if you're experiencing pain or other post-surgery problems.
If a person experiences persistent pain, swelling, or other symptoms following meniscus surgery, they should contact their doctor. These could be signs that the person has reinjured their knee or developed postsurgical complications that require treatment.
The most serious and common complication of meniscectomies is osteoarthritis. Depending on the state of surrounding ligaments, up to 100% of patients developed osteoarthritis after isolated meniscectomy at 30 years after surgery.
So unfortunately, having a meniscal tear which requires surgery may raise your risk of getting arthritis later in life. It has also been shown that a knee that has undergone meniscus surgery has weaker thigh muscles and poorer quality of cartilage 4 years after the surgery .
You should soon start seeing improvement in your knee. You may be able to return to most of your regular activities within a few weeks. But it will be several months before you have complete use of your knee. It may take as long as 6 months before your knee is strong enough for hard physical work or certain sports.
For a general timeframe, many runners can begin a (safe) return to running program around 8-12 weeks post-op. This timeline provides enough time to significantly reduce swelling, improve strength at the hip and quadriceps muscles, and implement a gradual progression/training plan to resume proper walking mechanics.
Notify your physician immediately if you suspect infection. Chronic pain, swelling and stiffness that affects daily activities. This could indicate a failed implant due to falling or loosening. This is rare for most patients and generally does not occur until many years after surgery, but is a possible side effect.
The long-term risk of arthritis in the knee after meniscus surgery is significantly higher compared to arthritis in the general population because some or all of the cartilage has been removed so there is less cushioning in the joint.
Symptoms may go away but can come back from overuse or when you do activities that involve twisting. The pain may come and go over a period of years if the tear isn't treated. Larger tears usually cause more pain and immediate swelling and stiffness. Pieces of the torn meniscus can float into the joint space.
Most people can walk with crutches soon after meniscus surgery. Many return to normal activities within six to eight weeks.
Patients with a symptomatic lateral discoid meniscus in this cohort had a high rate of meniscal retears (59% at 8 years) following meniscal repair or partial meniscectomy. These subsequent tears contributed to the high reoperation rate (39% at 8 years).
Three months following meniscal repair if pain and disability persist, a failed meniscal repair may be suspected and can be confirmed by performing a repeat arthroscopy. Factors that may cause a failed meniscal repair include: Patients older than 40 years of age. Delayed treatment.
What are the benefits? Surgery to repair tears in the meniscus relieves symptoms 85% of the time. That means that of 100 people who have this surgery, 85 have relief from pain and can use their knee normally, while 15 do not. Surgery to repair tears may reduce the risk of long-term joint problems.
Get the Best Physical Therapy for a Torn Meniscus in NYC
Surgery of any type has inherent risks. Side effects of drugs and anesthesia, risk of infection, high costs, disappointing outcomes and long-term complications need to be carefully weighed against low-risk alternatives.
What is the Success Rate of Meniscus Repair? In general, meniscus repair surgery has a high success rate from around 84% to 94%. Success rates tend to decrease if the patient experienced an injury which decreases knee stability, such as an ACL tear.
Consequently, the meniscus helps maximize contact surface area of the thigh bone with the shin bone. When the meniscus is disrupted/damaged it affects its ability to distribute the pressure exerted by the thigh bone evenly over the top of the shin bone.
Sometimes providers remove a meniscus if the damage is so severe that they can't repair it. Living without a meniscus can increase your risk of osteoarthritis and chronic (long-term) knee pain. A torn or injured meniscus can also lead to osteoarthritis.
The management of meniscal injuries remains difficult and challenging. Although several clinical options exist for the treatment of such injuries, complete regeneration of the damaged meniscus has proved difficult due to the limited healing capacity of the tissue.
Arthrofibrosis, also known as “stiff knee syndrome,” occurs when excessive scar tissue forms around a joint, limiting range of motion and causing pain and disability. It can be a complication of knee replacement or anterior cruciate ligament surgery, with infections and bleeding as known contributing factors.
There are several causes of post-operative knee pain. These include complications of the surgery, such as infection or spontaneous osteonecrosis of the knee. Others, like a slow recovery, may indicate other medical problems. Check with your doctor if your post-op knee pain doesn't improve.
It is an invasive operation that results in a lot of soft tissue inflammation, swelling and pain which takes a quite long time to settle down – so it is normal for patients to have some pain (although it should be improving) for 4 – 6 months after the operation is done.
After a meniscus repair, partial weight bearing is allowed and a brace may be used. Squatting is restricted for the first 3-4 months depending the size of the tear. Return to sport following arthroscopic meniscus repair can take 3-4 months depending on the severity of the tear and the sport.
In any case, patients are usually advised to stay off their feet and the use of crutches may be advised for at least several days. A knee brace may also be recommended. It may take several weeks before patients can walk without a knee brace and months before they have healed enough to return to sports.
At 6 weeks after surgery, you may gradually resume your previous activities if you have full range-of-motion, full strength and no swelling. Utilize a stationary bicycle to move the knee joint and increase knee flexion.