Patient Comments: Arthroscopy - Recovery

Question:How long was your recovery of your knee arthroscopy procedure?

Comment from: Minzer, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 22

I had arthroscopic surgery on knee for torn meniscus. I walked out of the hospital and started physiotherapy (PT) three days later. Three weeks post operation and twice weekly PT and home exercises, I am back to daily activities, going up and down stairs, spinning, Pilates, mowing, etc. Due to arthritis, a knee replacement is a few years down the road. Arthritis is not improved by arthroscopy and this was made very clear to me prior to surgery. Pain from torn meniscus was gone immediately after surgery. Meloxicam works great for arthritis pain and icing works wonders when I overdo it. Downside, no more deep squats and steep stand up bicycling. I can live with that.

Comment from: MGD, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 17

I'm 49 years old and in good physical shape. I had a meniscus arthroscopy (to smooth a torn edge that caused me a lot of pain) exactly 4 weeks ago and I'm doing extremely well. The day of the surgery I started moving the leg (straight leg exercises) and the foot (extensions and contractions) and was walking with crutches (applying maybe 70 percent of my weight on that knee). By day 2, I was walking carefully, no crutches. By day 3, I was going up and down stairs at home, very carefully, being easy on the knee. By day 4, I was using the stairs with no problem, slowly. By week 1 I had starting walking slow on the treadmill at the gym, 10 minutes a day, and doing my normal upper body workout, avoiding free weights and using machines instead. By week 2, I was walking 30 to 40 minutes, at 4 mph. No weight training. By week 3, stationary bicycle, minimum resistance. By week 4 (now), 70 percent of high resistance on stationary bike (2 different types of bikes) and climbing a bench, up and down, no weight but 50 repetitions per leg. No pain, and very little swelling. The key for me was 'pre-operation conditioning', where I worked out the muscle of the leg to give it maximum stability and good strength. I followed all the directions from my doctor (ice, rest, elevation, slowly progressing through the process, and caring for the knee).

Comment from: charlie, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: June 05

A week ago I had an arthroscopy to remove some damaged parts of my medial meniscus (40 percent removed). Today I have no swelling and 90 percent of my range of motion has returned. I get the odd twinge now and then when turning but I'm at least 80 percent recovered and many of the pre-operation symptoms have gone. I have been doing the exercises as advised and am very hopeful of a total recovery.

Comment from: farmerswalk, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 01

I wish I had discovered this thread before getting surgery. I tore my meniscus while running. I heard a very loud crack and immediately felt it buckle. It's been 3 months since the arthroscopic surgery, and the pain has not improved. At all. Moreover, I've lost all flexibility. (I was very flexible and did yoga hero pose daily to help with knee flexibility). My doctor told me I had arthritis in the knee (no surprise of course). He wouldn't tell me explicitly, but he strongly implied I should stop running). Having flat feet obviously has exacerbated all my problems. He said I would be able to resume normal activities after 8 weeks, including squatting. I'm going back to see him this week. I have read now (I should have read more before surgery) that the surgery isn't always successful, and in fact, can leave the patient with more pain and less flexibility. In sad conclusion, my knee hasn't improved whatsoever. I don't blame the doctors. I was desperate to resume running. I waited patiently (4 months) before deciding on surgery. Unfortunately, one of the things I enjoy most in life, running, probably has been taken from me.

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I had meniscus repair 8 weeks ago. I started physiotherapy (PT) 8 days afterwards, and they said I could walk with one crutch first day. I had never used crutches and was using on wrong leg and in so much pain. I continued PT then started on my own at home. I am doing better but still in pain. I went back to crutch and was very upset that the physiotherapist saw me walking on wrong leg and never corrected me until I said something. I hope this did not set me back. I am still in pain, I wonder how long it takes to heal; it is fine one day and the next day it hurts.

Comment from: 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 27

I had arthroscopic surgery on January 27, 2015. After one week of physiotherapy (PT), my surgeon ordered a series of 3 shots into my knee. I have had 6 weeks of PT and I am still in a lot of pain. My doctor said everything has been corrected. My age of 61 and the fact that I have bursitis, osteoarthritis and fibromyalgia will make it take a long time to heel. He suggested going to a pain specialists. I haven't decided to do that yet.

Comment from: kneepain, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: March 18

I am 44 years old and am an Ultra-Trail. I had a fall/ twist to my knee that caused a medial meniscus tear 9 months ago. My knee pain was only aggravated by running. I wasn't ready to quit being a runner. It was not healing so I had arthroscopic surgery to trim and partially remove my medial meniscus. I walked from the wheel chair to my vehicle. I have been walking without aid for 6 days now and don't have any unusual pain. There was a lot of fluid the first two days and that kept me off the stairs on day 1 post operation. I though there was a gel pack in my bandage at first. I used 4 pain pills the first 2 days and I could have gotten by without them on the 2nd day, but it helped me sleep better on my couch with my leg elevated and iced up every 30 minutes. I iced it a lot the first 2 days. I also kept moving my foot and doing light leg extensions a lot the first 3 days. I would hold the extension and contract my quad muscles slightly just to keep things working but not to irritate the surgery. I never did anything to cause myself pain. I am a mechanic in a factory and I believe I could have been back to work on day 4 but I have to be released after my follow up and they remove the stitches on Thursday which will be 6 days post operation. So far I have nothing bad to say about having the surgery. I frequent the gym regularly so I was building up leg strength before my surgery. Running was the only thing that irritated it before surgery. I am at least where I was before my surgery best as I can tell. I have no reason at this time to think I will not be running again in a few weeks. My surgery was an outpatient procedure. I am not taking pain medicines. The only thing I have to take for 6 weeks is aspirin because of the risk of blood clots after surgery. I am sorry for all of you who have had troubles from the surgery but it's not all gloom and doom.

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