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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 things. But here are some typical times for returning to activities.

Time needed to return to activities
Activity Uncomplicated meniscectomy Meniscus repair surgery
Bear weight (put weight on your knee while standing or walking) Right away, as tolerated Right away, but only with a brace
Walk without crutches 2 to 7 days 4 to 6 weeks
Drive, if the affected leg is to be used for gas and brake or for clutch

1 to 2 weeks, if:

  • You have regained motion with minimal pain.
  • You are not taking narcotics.
4 to 6 weeks
Regain full range of motion 1 to 2 weeks Bending is typically restricted to not more than 90 degrees for first 4 to 6 weeks to allow the meniscus to heal.
Return to heavy work or sports

4 to 6 weeks, if

  • You have regained motion and strength.
  • 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 Patrick J. McMahon, MD - Orthopedic Surgery
Last Revised September 10, 2012

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