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Reconstructive Orthopedics – Meniscus Recovery

Brad Bernardini, M.D., John Gray, M.D., and Jeffrey Murray, D.O., M.S.P.T., explain the different recovery processes for patients with meniscus injuries.

Please see below for the full video transcript.

Dr. Murray: Recovery from meniscus surgery, again, is variable depending on whether you have what's called a meniscectomy, where we remove a portion of the meniscus or a meniscal repair.

Dr. Gray: If you repair a meniscus, often the patient is required to stay on crutches just a little bit of an extended period of time, maybe two to three weeks. We then advance weight-bearing activities and physical activities. Often, return to high-level activities in sports is somewhere between three and six months.

Dr. Bernardini: Physical therapy after meniscus repair is critical. Physical therapy after a meniscus removal, or what we call debridement, is typically not needed. The restrictions and the protocols for a meniscus repair, again, which is typically done in a younger, adolescent-type patient, does require a physical therapy program. In general, there are some restrictions for the first six weeks. We like to have that patient usually walk with the leg fully straight in a brace, and it actually helps to support the repair. Bending can occur up to 90 degrees, when non-weight bearing, for the first six weeks. After that, we start to increase range of motion, and we allow patients to start to walk without braces.

Dr. Gray: If we just debride a meniscus, or trim up the meniscus, often the patient is on crutches for three days, back to a biking or elliptical walker within ten days to two weeks, and back to fairly high-level activity within four weeks afterwards.

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