How Long On Crutches After Meniscus Repair?
Were you aware that meniscus tears are one of the most common problems orthopedic surgeons see? Your meniscus is a c-shaped pad of cartilage. This cartilage acts as the shock absorber of your knee, so having a tear can be inconvenient and painful.
Have you recently suffered a meniscus tear and undergone surgery? Or are you going to have repair surgery? After this type of surgery, you’re likely wondering how long you need to stay on crutches. Our article will look at everything you need to know about meniscus repair, including how long you need to use crutches.
What Is Meniscus Surgery?
When you get meniscus surgery (or repair as it’s otherwise known), you’re repairing the torn meniscus. A doctor will make a few small incisions during the surgery to repair the cartilage in your knee. This surgery usually only takes an hour to complete.
Many meniscus tear patients choose to have surgery to reduce their pain and improve stability and mobility.
Who Needs To Have Meniscus Tear Surgery?
Meniscus injuries are relatively common. Those who play sports or are incredibly active are more likely to take a meniscus surgery. Older adults injure their menisci often because this cartilage is more likely to tear as we get old.
Choosing to repair a meniscus tear will ensure your knee is no longer unstable and that it doesn’t buckle. A meniscus tear surgery will also ensure you don’t experience painful swelling. Without swelling, your knee won’t become stuck and immobile.
Can You Walk Immediatley After Meniscus Surgery?
After meniscus surgery, many people ask if they are allowed to walk right away. In most instances, it’s recommended that you stay off your feet for several days. You shouldn’t walk right away and instead use a mobility aid like crutches until your repair has healed.
What To Expect After Meniscus Surgery
If you decide to have a meniscus surgery, you’re likely to wonder what to expect after the surgery.
Firstly, you won’t need to stay overnight in a hospital because the surgery is not long. Yet, you will need to wait in the hospital’s recovery room until the anesthesia has worn off. After the effects of the anesthesia have gone away, you need to have someone drive you home.
Once you’re home, you will need to take care so that you don’t re-tear your meniscus. This means that you will have to use crutches and other mobility aids during your recovery. Let’s look at what else you can expect after meniscus surgery.
You, Will, Have To Manage Your Pain
While you’re recovering from your meniscus surgery, you can expect to feel pain while you heal. Usually, pain is minimal after this type of surgery. Yet, if you feel discomfort, you can take over-the-counter pain medication.
Often the best medicine to take is NSAIDs like naproxen and ibuprofen. But, check with your doctor first to find out what pain medication you’re allowed to take after your surgery.
You, Will, Need To Take Part In Physical Therapy Or Rehab
After your surgery, you will have to do physical therapy or rehab to ensure your injury is healing as it should. Most surgeons will recommend that you complete at-home physical therapy exercises.
Yet, each person is different, and whether you need to go to a facility will depend on your general health. You will also need to factor in if you have underlying health issues that need extra monitoring.
Usually, you have to undertake physical therapy if you’re an athlete who needs to return to athletics quickly. Or you will need to follow a specially created sports medicine program at a medical facility.
Is Meniscus Surgery Painful ?
If you’re set to have an arthroscopic meniscus repair, you can expect the surgery to be moderately painful. It’s usually more painful than a standard arthroscopy. Yet, meniscus surgery is less painful than a procedure that requires a surgeon to drill into bone. It is also less painful than a ligament reconstruction.
What Do I Need To Do After Meniscus Surgery?
Once you have had meniscus repair surgery, there are a few things you will need to do. Have a look below to find out what you can do to make sure your injury heals as it should.
Watch Your Diet
You can eat a normal diet after having meniscus surgery. Yet, it’s recommended that you eat bland foods if you have an upset stomach. If you have an upset stomach, you need to try to eat yogurt, chicken, plain rice, and toast.
You also need to drink plenty of water and track your bowel movements. If your bowel movements don’t become regular, you should consider taking fiber supplements. If a fiber supplement does not work, consult your doctor.
Take Care Of Your Wound
It’s imperative that you take care of your wound if you have an incision after your repair surgery. Always follow your doctor’s directions for taking care of your wound. For example, keep your bandage clean and dry.
Will I Need To Use Crutches After Meniscus Surgery?
Usually, if you have undergone meniscus surgery, you need to use crutches. Crutches will help you move about and complete everyday tasks. If you don’t use crutches, you risk re-injuring yourself and lead to a longer recovery period.
How Long Is The Recovery Period After Meniscus Surgery? Crutch And Brace Use
Everyone heals differently, but generally, the recovery time for a meniscus repair is two to three months. You will need to use crutches for the first four to eight weeks. This ensures you are not placing any weight on the knee that has undergone a meniscus repair. Using crutches will also ensure you allow your repaired tissues to become attached.
Also, your doctor will likely recommend that you use a brace to keep your knee secure when you move. In most instances, you will have to wear a knee brace for several weeks until you’re completely healed.
Interestingly, you can expect a quicker recovery time if you only need to undergo a partial meniscectomy. You will likely only need to use crutches for a few days with this surgery. Yet, you can only do light activities for ten to fourteen days. You can stop using the crutches when your limp is gone. Yet, note that you will be able to only resume strenuous activities after six to eight weeks.
Activities You're Allowed To Do While Recovering From A Meniscus Repair
Below we have spoken about some of the activities you can do after a meniscus repair surgery. It’s important that you heed these guidelines if you don’t want to risk re-tearing your healing injuries.
The first few days after your meniscus surgery, you need to keep your leg raised as much as possible.
Whenever you feel tired during the day, do have a rest. When you sleep, remember to keep your knee raised but not bent.
Usually, you’re only allowed to shower 24 to 48 hours after meniscus surgery. When you shower, remember to keep your bandages dry and clean. If you’re wearing a brace, ask your doctor if it’s okay to take it off while bathing.
If you use crutches, you can move around the house to complete daily tasks if they are not deemed strenuous.
When putting your brace back on after a bath, you need to remember not to tightly secure it.
You’re only allowed to drive after you no longer need to use crutches or pain medication.
Depending on your job, you can return to work in one to two weeks if you have a desk job. Yet, if you work on your feet, you will need four to six weeks of recovery time before returning to work. In addition, if you have a physically demanding job, you might be off work for three to six months.
Now you know everything you should know about how long you need to use crutches after a meniscus repair. You’re far less likely to reinjure yourself as long as you keep weight off your injury by using crutches. Additionally, since the recovery period after meniscus surgery can be somewhat painful, using crutches will help with your pain management and speed up your recovery.