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  • Torn Meniscus Recovery Time

    Well, long story short, I injured my knee in January playing in a game and now I have a torn meniscus which I've been told I need to have surgery on to get it all fixed up. My question is, for anybody who has had a surgery like this, how long is the recovery period? Right now I'm trying to figure out when the best time to get the surgery done would be to keep missing school/work in the summer to a minimum.

    Thanks in advance,


  • #2
    What do you do for school or work?

    You can be back at school later in the week, though on crutches.

    It'll be about 4-6 months before you're doing regular people stuff, but still not 100%. Before playing, you'll want to really strengthen up so you have the support around your knee.

    Full tear or partial?

    And make sure you get the best damn surgeon you can. Makes a huge difference


    • #3
      depends on the severity of the tear. I had a slight miniscus tear back when I was in college (95) and it wasn't bad at all. I was moving around on crutches 2 days after the surgery and walking on my own in about a week.

      It's tough to recall exactly but I think I did some PT for about a month or so and I was back on the ice in less than 2 months.

      the surgery is relatively minor. I have 2 tiny pin holes for scars that can hardly be seen compared to all of the other childhood scars from skinned knees and other stupid stuff. It's really nothing to worry about!


      • #4
        Full Tear

        If its a full tear you are looking at 4 to 6 months to being on the ice again. My GF had a torn meniscus and after surgery and PT she was back playing at 4 months with a Bionic Brace. It now been a year since the surgery and she is back full time.


        • #5
          Agreed. Really depends on how bad you tore it up. I tore my ACL, MCL, and split my miniscus into 6 pieces all at one sitting and it took me about 4 months with the rehab and all.


          • #6
            Partial tear here also in January. No surgery for though. I just rehabed - which was a waste.

            Step up on this wood block 25 times...

            "yeah, I use more stairs every day"

            Good luck.

            Oh, and the rehab people didn't understand the basic leg movements to play butterfly. I stopped going when they told me that "maybe you shouldn't go down to your knees anymore".


            • #7
              Where is the tear? Is it going to be "repaired" (sewn back together) or "removed" (snipped off and not replaced)? Huge difference in the two procedures -- basically two entirely different things.

              And dittoing someone else, make sure you have an EXPERIENCED (and good) surgeon and a competent physical therapist with the right equipment for your rehab. Make sure both the surgeon and the PT know exactly what you do as a goalie, too, so that your rehab and recovery can be tailored to your needs.

              Oh, and DO THIS NOW!!! The longer you wait, the more of next season you're going to miss.

              Good luck.


              • #8
                This is a question you will need to ask your doctor. Is the tear in the middle or on the edge of the cartilage? That can effect the time it takes for you to get going again since it effects the surgery itself. A tear in the middle will not heal as quickly, making recovery longer.

                From what I am reading online it sounds pretty non-invasive compared to what I am going through. I tore my PCL in January and had a torn MCL that was misdiagnosed by a bad doctor 3 years before that. (The bad doctor actually told me to stop crying about my knee hurting, there was nothing wrong with it ) I had surgery to fix both on April 11th and I am still in an immobilization brace (for another 3 weeks on top of the three weeks I already have done ) and can not put weight on it. But remember that a PCL is the worst one to recover from. Your recovery won't be nearly this long! I would say a few weeks tops for the crutches and restrictions. A guy on my team had ACL surgery and he was walking on his own a month later.

                I got two opinions on my knee before I decided to have the surgery. A lot of times it really isn't necessary if the knee isn't severely affecting your walking and everyday life. I was having trouble with instability and a lot of pain so I went ahead. I couldn't walk up and down stairs, get in and out of a vehicle, kick a ball, etc.

                One good thing surgery will do is help prevent arthritis later in life. They will likely only have to make two or three small incisions in your knee and they are fairly easy to recover from. You should be back playing hockey within 6 months so I would have it done NOW and not later if you are going to do it!!! I am wishing I didn't wait a month before I decided to have mine done!


                • #9
                  I tore my meniscus cartilage in my right knee, the doctor called it a "bucket handle" tear. It tore 180 degrees and flopped into the joint and I couldn't straighten my leg. Instead of removing the doctor sewed it back into place and I had to wear a knee immobilizer for around a month or two (I did this back in 1993). Can't remember how long it took before I could play again it was probably 6 months or so. Then about 2 yrs after surgery while playing again it tore. The second doctor removed the cartilage so it wouldn't get caught again in the future. He also shaved down the cartilage and removed the "free bodies" floating around. The only problem now is that I am almost bone on bone and when I had a MRI 3 years ago for a partial tear of the MCL the doctor said I have arthritis starting which wasn't a good thing at age 37 and she said I'd probably be back within 10 years for a knee replacement. I hope I can prove her wrong.


                  • #10
                    Thanks for all the input. Luckily the tear in my meniscus isn't that bad and it is on the edge of the cartilage. Hopefully my recovery time won't be too long and I can get back to a normal routine fairly quickly.


                    • #11
                      My experience

                      I had my tear diagnosed in mid March, repaired on April 9, and was walking on it the next day. Took off the brace the day after that. Stitches out after 2 weeks, full permission of doctor and physical therapist to do whatever I wanted after 3 weeks.

                      The PT went through the strengthening exercises on my first visit and said if I could do them at home I didn't have to come back as far as he was concerned. Went for a 10 mile bike ride the day before that PT appointment and commuted 8 miles by bike TO the appointment.

                      So far just mild discomfort as it heals and my hamstrings & muscles get back in shape. I practiced slow butterfly movements just in shorts & shoes the other night while watching playoffs and it will take some stretching and a lot more work before I dare play hockey, but overall it's been way less pain or trouble than I would have guessed.


                      • #12
                        I tore mine in 1986 and they still aren't right


                        • #13
                          just looking from some updates (as i see this is an OLD thread...wonder if any of you are still around)

                          I too just found out that i have a 'minor tear' on my meniscus.

                          Just wondering what your recovery times/back to work/hockey times were...


                          • #14
                            What type of tear in which portion of the meniscus?

                            Surgery to repair, surgery to remove, or "wait and pray"?


                            • #15
                              Tore medial Meniscus in the right knee, and Lateral in the left (both full tears) I actually had an orthopedist decide to operate on both knees at the same time.

                              you can walk around, the biggest problem is the swelling from the arthroscopic, and the lovely giant needle of saline solution to "puff" up the knee.

                              Took me about 2 weeks to get the swelling down to where I was walking normally (stairs were the biggest problem), and I was told by my orthopedist to walk without crutches as soon as I was capable, so I basically never used them, I even walked out of the hospital without crutches (2 hours after I was admitted)

                              to get back to Hockey, I'm not going to speculate as I had other injuries to the knee which crept up after the surgery and postponed my getting back on the ice.

                              and since this was revived, it's been 4 years since I've had my removed, and it's only been about 8 months now that I'm no longer using my brace (could've probably been about 2 years, but I've been wary of taking them off, just forgot them once, and had no choice)
                              Last edited by WI_stinger39; 12-03-2010, 11:58 PM.