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Meniscus Surgery: Recovery Time

Topic Overview

Surgery to repair a torn meniscus involves rehabilitation, although it varies depending on the injury, the type of surgery, and your orthopedist's preference. In general, meniscus surgery is followed by a period of rest, walking, and selected exercises.

Every recovery is different and depends on many things. But here are some typical times for returning to activities.

Time needed to return to activities

Activity

Uncomplicated meniscectomy

Meniscus repair surgery

Bear weight (put weight on your knee while standing or walking)

Right away, as tolerated

Right away, but only with a brace

Walk without crutches

2 to 7 days

4 to 6 weeks

Drive, if the affected leg is to be used for gas and brake or for clutch

1 to 2 weeks, if:

  • You have regained motion with minimal pain.
  • You are not taking opioids.

4 to 6 weeks

Regain full range of motion

1 to 2 weeks

Bending is typically restricted to not more than 90 degrees for first 4 to 6 weeks to allow the meniscus to heal.

Return to heavy work or sports

4 to 6 weeks, if

  • You have regained motion and strength.
  • Your knee is not swollen or painful.

3 to 6 months

Health Tools

Health Tools help you make wise health decisions or take action to improve your health.

Decision Points focus on key medical care decisions that are important to many health problems.

Credits

Current as of: March 2, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:
William H. Blahd Jr. MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine
Patrick J. McMahon MD - Orthopedic Surgery

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