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What to Expect During Meniscus Surgery

Meniscus surgery removes or fixes this cartilage between the bones in the knee. Dr. Madsen may use small tools to remove parts of the damaged meniscus and smooth the edges. This is called a partial meniscectomy (pronounced “men-ih-SEK-tuh-mee”). In some cases, tears in the meniscus can be sewn back together. But, if the meniscus can’t be repaired, Dr. Madsen may remove the damaged part.

man kicking soccer ball

Arthroscopic Surgery

Meniscus surgery is usually done as an arthroscopic surgery. Dr. Madsen uses a lighted tube called an arthroscope, or scope. He puts the scope and other surgical tools through small cuts, called incisions, into the knee. They leave scars that usually fade with time.The surgery will take at least 1 hour. Most people go home the same day of the surgery. Patients may have to use crutches after surgery.

Recovering from a Meniscus Surgery

How soon patients are back to work and their normal routines depend on their jobs and the type of surgery performed. If they sit at work, they may be able to go back in 1-2 weeks. But, if their work requires time on their feet it may take 4-6 weeks. If a patient is required to be very physically active at work it could be 3-6 months before they are able to return.

Patients may need physical rehabilitation (rehab) after surgery. At first, help is provided by either Dr. Madsen or a physical therapist. Once progress is made, patients are given exercises to do on their own. Rehab typically lasts several months and results in the knee having less pain and more flexibility.

Follow Up Care

How soon patients are able to return to sports or exercise depends on how well they follow their rehab program and how quickly the knee heals. If a partial meniscectomy was performed it may take 1-2 months. If a meniscus repair was performed, it may be 3-6 months before they are able to partake in sports and exercise.

It is vital that patients make and go to all appointments and keep in contact with Dr. Madsen, especially if problems arise. It is also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines prescribed.

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