One common yet unfortunate injury to the knee is the meniscus tear. Learn about the surgical procedure performed following some meniscus tears that helps patients regain function and stability!
A meniscectomy is a common ambulatory surgery performed to remove part of, or the whole meniscus. It is most commonly performed arthroscopically, meaning that it is minimally invasive and a person can usually get the surgery and leave the same day. The reason why people get meniscectomies is due to pain associated with a torn meniscus that is limiting their day-to-day and/or recreational activities. Typically there is clicking, buckling, and swelling associated with a meniscus tear. Age, extent of injury, and activity level are all factors that a surgeon uses to determine what type of meniscus surgery is appropriate. A meniscectomy is usually performed when there is poor blood flow to the area of injury, since it is less conducive to healing.
Since a meniscectomy does not involve a repair of the meniscus, there are no definitive precautions following surgery. After surgery, scar tissue and swelling will limit range of motion of the knee in both directions: bending and straightening. The main focus of physical therapy therefore, is initially focused on quadricep strengthening and achieving full range of motion. Without full knee extension, the knee will be less stable during everyday activities such as walking and going up/down stairs. Concurrently, bending of the knee must also be achieved to match the non-surgical leg as early as 3-4 weeks. Return to sport activities may occur as early as 2-3 months following surgery, after appropriate progression through a strengthening balance and plyometric program. If you have any questions about what physical therapy can look like for you following a meniscectomy, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 646-875-8348