T Nation

Arthroscopic Knee Surgery


#1

I have recently found out I have large and small tears in my medial and lateral meniscu. I need surger and am wondering what people can tell me about their knee surgeries. What was the recovery time like, how long before driving, returning to work, returning to training legs and how well you recovered. I am 57 years old,in good shape, 6' 192. anything you could tell me would be appreciated.


#2

What are you going to do? Remove the broken parts? Repair them? Anyhow, no more than 4 weeks in worst case to get back to 100%, in 2 or 3 days you should be able to drive. Meniscus surgery is nothing serious.


#3

I am having the tears repaired and some of the calcium deposits removed. I know it's not serious. I have had hip replacement and was back to normal in less time than most articles said knee surgery takes so I'm optomistic.

Have you had arthroscopic surgery? What was your recovery like?


#4

I had meniscus surgery on my left knee in 2008. Being as it was my left knee I was able to drive the entire time. Though the first 5 days after surgery I didn't need to go anywhere. I worked from home and went back to work the following monday, 1 week post surgery.

I did 5 weeks of twice per week rehab.
I started training upper body and good leg a week or 2 after surgery.
I didn't train the injured leg outside of rehab until rehab was over. In my case the menisus tear was limiting the ROM in my leg so it took a little bit to get the ROM back.
I did whatever leg movements my knee could tolerate.
I fully recovered and have beaten all pre surgery PRs.

My best advice would be too listen to your body during recovery. Meniscus surgery is minor compared to other types of knee surgery but getting cut and having work done still requires a recovery period.


#5

If you are having a meniscus REPAIR, then it will be 3-4 weeks before you should be full weight bearing on the surgical leg. The sutures and repaired meniscus need time to heal before putting pressure on it, so if you rush that aspect, you risk retearing or compromising the repair. How much rehab you put into the knee before the full weight bearing is allowed will determine your full recovery time, but I've seen as quick as 2.5 months and as long as 6 months depending on the compliance to rehab and the activities being returned to after recovery.

A meniscectomy, or just removal/debridement of the damaged meniscus, is actually a quicker recovery because you don't have to wait for the sutures/repair to recover. But, a meniscectomy also comes with a higher chance of arthritic issues down the road and certain meniscal tears are to big or done in a certain way that a repair is more necessary.


#6

I had a arthroscopic lateral meniscus removal about a year a go. It was a nasty bucket handle tear, that had my knee physically locked at a 90 degree angle for a couple of days before i got the surgery.

I Trained the day i got out of hospital, so a day after the surgery. Was a bit awkward limping around with crutches, and some movements were impossible, but you can always find a way.

I was off crutches in one week, but had problems walking for maybe a month. Stairs were hard to do without crutches or a rail. mostly due to pain and low range of motion. first couple of weeks i couldn't even bend my knee enough to get in a car. I did ROM and physical therapy two times a day, on my own, for i don't know how long. maybe 3 months.

Doc told me no leg training or running for 6 months. The physical therapy program had me doing BW squats as soon as i was able to, so I just added weight as soon as i was able to. this was maybe 3 months out from surgery.

Running and squatting is fine. Just minor pain/discomfort.

I already have Osteoarthritis, but there is little to be done about that, so i just ignore it. Using a knee sleeve when squatting and when i know im gonna be on my feet the entire day, seems to help. Not knee wraps but sleeves, just to keep it warm and keep the blood flowing.