How Long After Meniscus Surgery Can I Walk (And Why)?

Exact Answer: After 5-6 weeks

Meniscus surgery is the medical procedure to correct the knee’s cartilages that get torn due to various reasons. There are various symptoms of the meniscus getting torn. Swelling of the affected region followed by pain is the most common type of surgery. Indulgence in activities like squats and motions related to pivoting can worsen the condition. When the torn parts of the meniscus get stuck within the joint of the knee, there may be some awkward sensation of catching and pressure.

The main reason behind the meniscus surgery is to restore the meniscus tissue safely in its place. The affected region needs a sufficient supply of oxygen and blood to heal itself. But, only a few portions can get that continuous supply of oxygen and blood. There are various regions of a tear due to the insufficient supply of blood. But, they are corrected by meniscus surgery.

How Long After Meniscus Surgery Can I Walk?

TypeTime
Minimum time5 weeks
Maximum time6 weeks

The meniscus may be defined as the cartilage present between the bones of the knee and legs to serve as a shock absorber. The damage to the meniscus may lead to severe pain around the region thereby making it difficult for you to carry on your day to day schedule. Depending on the region and reason for the tear of the meniscus, the doctor corrects the affected region. Basically, there are two types of meniscus tears.

The first of them involves putting the tissues back in their original position with the help of stitches. In other cases, the tissues are completely damaged and they can only be treated by removing out of the torn part of the knee cartilage. The type of treatment to be carried out on a patient has to be decided by the doctor by monitoring the affected region of the patient and his/her health condition. After few physical tests, the doctor decides the treatment for the patient.

There is no one size for the treatment which would all the people tensed with their meniscus tear. Each one of us is born unique and hence the region of our meniscus differs from one region to the other. The doctor even needs to check the distance of the affected region from the blood supply. After all this information, the doctor can go for treatment of the patient. Prior experience of the doctor is necessary to carry out the treatment properly to relieve the patient of his/her problem.

The main instruments used in the process include a scope, camera, and general surgical instruments. Nearly all the meniscus tears can be treated with maximum chances of healing. But, when the tears are not similar to the most commonly found ones and completely different from ideal ones, then the chances of complete repair followed by healing declined significantly.

Why Should I Wait So Long After Meniscus Surgery To Walk?

During a true repair, the patient may be advised to walk with the help of braces. In addition to that, exercises related to weight lifting would be forbidden. One needs to go through proper physiotherapy sessions and exercises to heal completely and properly. After about 2-3 months of the surgery, the person may be encouraged to walk without braces and carry out activities that involve movement of the knees.

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The time after which the patient can restart his work at the office depends on the demands of the work and his/her health condition. If his/her job does not demand any stressful activity, then he/she may return to the job soon after a short period of rest and recovery. If the job is not of the light-duty type and involves stressful activity, then he/she may return to the job after 2-4 months of complete healing and recovery. Proper recovery is essential to ensure that the affected region heals properly.

If one wishes to go for weight-bearing activities, then in cases of meniscectomy, he/she can resume such activities immediately after the surgery only if he can tolerate them. In cases of persons who have undergone a true surgery, he/she should go for such activities with braces and other such supporting instruments. In cases of meniscectomy, the patient needs to wait for 4-7 days before going for walk without the help of braces. In cases of patients who have undergone a true surgery, they need to wait for 6-8 weeks before walking without braces.

To carry out activities like driving, one needs to wait for the time period when the affected portion has healed completely without pain. The patients treated with meniscectomy need 3-4 weeks to heal to such an extremity. On the other hand, others who have undergone true surgery need to wait for 6-8 weeks for achieving this height of recovery. For being able to perform all kinds of action, one needs to wait for at least 4-5 months of complete recovery and healing.

Conclusion

After the surgery, one needs to be in touch with the doctor and the physiotherapist for proper and safe recovery. One should take proper rest after the surgery. Compressions and ice packs are the most essential home treatment which one must do at least 5-6 times a day. The diet should also be taken according to the prescription of the doctor. Elevation and raising of the affected leg can help in reducing pain and swelling thereby leading to faster recovery.

The braces should be kept in a place away. One should use crutches for standing and should not pressurize the affected portion too much. The patient should also follow the rehabilitation advice and tips given by the doctors. This can help in speeding up the process of recovery. At last, it is not difficult to recover after the surgery. One needs to be patient and positive in mindset.

Reference

  1. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.3109/17453674.2014.919558
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0749806314009761
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