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Old 01-29-2013, 06:34 AM
 
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Default Surgery for torn meniscus: how long before I will be back to normal fitness routine?

I am scheduled to have surgery on a torn meniscus in my right knee. My doctor refuses to give me any kind of estimate on how long it will be before I can hike and bike again. He just says "everyone is different" and won't even give me an estimate.

I want to plan a backpacking trip and a bike trek for when I have vacation time in the spring.

Anyone have experience with this kind of surgery? I am in otherwise good health and have never had surgery before.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:08 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY born & raised!
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I've had this surgery done twice.

Depending on how good your surgeon is, you could be walking the next day or day after that. They will tell you to try to walk on it as much as you can handle and will give you physical therapy.

How fast you recover will depend on how much you do the physical therapy and how fast your body recovers. You should be back to normal by April or May if all goes well.

I will tell you that if you are having this surgery as a result of osteoarthritis, be prepared to have this surgery again in 10 years. Torn meniscus is common with this.

Start taking glucosamine chondroitin to help aid in your healing process.
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Old 01-29-2013, 07:45 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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I had this done a year and a half ago and my recovery was similar to Miss J 74. This is assuming you are having a partial menisectomy and not a meniscus repair. The recovery for a repair is more like 6 months. You should be walking normally in a few days but if you are a runner, it might take a month or two to start running again. I did lose a lot of strength in that leg. My surgeon did not recommend physical therapy but I lifted weights to get the strength back. A one-leg leg press and step-ups on a box are probably the best exercises to do.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:52 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY born & raised!
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Another thing you will want to do is build up your quadriceps. These will alleviate the strain on your knees in the future after the surgery.

And bear in mind there's a possibility to get "weather knee" if you don't have it already. I can always tell when it's going to rain or when it's overcast outside just by how my knee feels.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Wallis and Futuna
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Walking around with a limp: a few days. Walking around without a limp - a couple of weeks to a month, depending on your physical therapy regiment.

From the point where you're not walking around with a limp anymore, your progress will be completely dependent on you and how you exercise. It can be a month til you're comfortable riding UPhill on a bicycle, but OK on walking trails - or it could take 3-6 months, if you're going slow or have complications.

I'd say a minimum of a month before you strap the pack to your back.
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Old 01-29-2013, 01:44 PM
 
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I am on week three after both knees:>(
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Old 01-29-2013, 08:26 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
I am on week three after both knees:>(
Both knees at the same time?
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Old 01-29-2013, 10:27 PM
 
Location: State of Relaxation
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I was told (not by the surgeon, of course--he just wanted to sell me surgery) that surgery often isn't necessary for a torn meniscus. If the tear was due to mechanical reasons, you can do exercises to strengthen the relevant musculature, and the meniscus will adjust and heal on its own. It won't be like new, but it'll be functional. I spoke to several people who chose to skip the surgery, and they're doing fine. Even people whose meniscus tears were due to osteoarthritis skipped the surgery and are doing fine with daily exercises. I also found posts on the internet by people who said they never recovered from the surgery and have been in pain the rest of their lives. I think any kind of knee surgery can be tricky, and you should probably get a 2nd opinion, and do some research before you go through with it. But maybe you've already done that.
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Old 01-29-2013, 11:08 PM
 
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/\ /\ /\ That is my understanding as well from physical therapists. I torn my medial meniscus back in October, and I've been doing the exercises. But I'll find out what my ortho has to say on Thursday.

I've been able to do most of my usual work out routine (although I am very cautious and cut way back on weights on leg day), but I am most symptomatic with routine movements, especially twisting motions.
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Old 01-30-2013, 04:39 AM
 
Location: Pennsylvania
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruth4Truth View Post
I was told (not by the surgeon, of course--he just wanted to sell me surgery) that surgery often isn't necessary for a torn meniscus. If the tear was due to mechanical reasons, you can do exercises to strengthen the relevant musculature, and the meniscus will adjust and heal on its own. It won't be like new, but it'll be functional. I spoke to several people who chose to skip the surgery, and they're doing fine. Even people whose meniscus tears were due to osteoarthritis skipped the surgery and are doing fine with daily exercises. I also found posts on the internet by people who said they never recovered from the surgery and have been in pain the rest of their lives. I think any kind of knee surgery can be tricky, and you should probably get a 2nd opinion, and do some research before you go through with it. But maybe you've already done that.
This makes sense. In older people with osteoarthritis, meniscal tears can occur after cartilage wears thin and weakens. Arthroscopy is considered effective for meniscal tears alone, but its effectiveness for associated osteoarthritis is less clear. Studies have shown that arthroscopy is ineffective for treating advanced knee osteoarthritis.
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