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Slowtwitch Forums: Triathlon Forum:
how long to recovery from meniscus surgery??

 

   


slowangeleno

Feb 7, 09 9:11

Post #1 of 18 (10698 views)
how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? Quote | Reply

just had surgery to remove the torn part of my left meniscus. anyone had this? how long before: were walking/light exercise/running?


ras214

Feb 7, 09 11:59

Post #2 of 18 (10685 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had mine done in November of '07 and for some stupid reason decided to take up Triathlon in January '08. I went through about 8 weeks of physical therapy following the surgery. This was my 3rd surgery on the same knee (2 ACLs and the most recent Menesectomy), so I'm no stranger to knee issues. I started running about 6 weeks post-op and did my first race in April of '08. Naturally I got stronger throughout the year, but compared to an ACL repair, recovering from meniscus surgery was fairly quick. Most importantly, listen to your doctor, physical therapist and your body.


Raptor

Feb 7, 09 15:13

Post #3 of 18 (10657 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

As soon as you can get back on a trainer to do simple spins, the better. I started training for my Ironman two months after my surgery. One year later and you will totally forget that you had surgery. And you will be amazed that you will have full range of motion of the knee.

All I remember it took awhile for the swelling to go completely away.


slowangeleno

Feb 7, 09 15:15

Post #4 of 18 (10654 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [Raptor] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

were you on crutches for a while? ortho said that I can walk and bend it right away if I feel like it, but there's no way I can take more than two steps without crutches. hard to bend and lift as well, but I'm assuming that's from the swelling.

how long before you were back on a bike/running? thanks for the info, btw.


Raptor

Feb 7, 09 15:32

Post #5 of 18 (10648 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had some issues the first week: http://forum.slowtwitch.com/...the%20house;#1541853

The first one I had two years earlier was a piece of cake. I used crutches for about a week as I recall for both of them.


Raptor

Feb 7, 09 15:38

Post #6 of 18 (10646 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

It will take some time. Bending it seems to take forever but getting on a bike trainer is suppose to help that. I could not stand on a bike and mash the gears for several months without it hurting.

I started running and biking within two months but I think some people on ST were able to start in much shorter time.


Tri2HaveFun

Feb 7, 09 16:15

Post #7 of 18 (10634 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

After my meniscus surgery I had to be completely non-weight bearing on that leg for a month. That was followed by a month of PT. Then I was OK to bike. I was not allowed to run for 6 months and even then there was some mild pain. My surgery was in March and it wasn't until October that I could run a 5K. That was almost 9 years ago and I haven't had any troubles since then. I think you'll find that the recovery time is dependent on exactly what they did to you and may not be comparable with anyone else. Listen to your doctor and PT. Don't rush it if they advise against it. You have to live with that knee for the rest of your life, so if you have to blow off a season of racing just do lots of biking.
Don

Tri-ing to have fun. Anything else is just a bonus!


LDV

Feb 7, 09 16:28

Post #8 of 18 (10632 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My boyfriend just had surgery to remove a part of his medial meniscus. Its been about 12 days and he's run on it 2 x. He thinks part of the reason he was so quick to rebound was the strength of his legs beforehand. (he was running up until the day he had surgery). I would say see what the doc says and see how you feel. Obviously he's not running 7 minute miles nor is he running for more than 50 minutes...but take it one day at a time ...
BASE Tri Fitness
http://www.basetrifitness.com
The Fountain of Youth Is Movement ~m. thrower



worldonastrng

Feb 7, 09 16:44

Post #9 of 18 (10627 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Here's another one to add to the list. I had 60% of my left medial meniscus removed. After six weeks of rehab and lots of pain pills, I was good to go. I have never had any significant knee pain since.


tate

Feb 7, 09 17:08

Post #10 of 18 (10616 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [worldonastrng] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Geez, as if I wasn't discouraged enough already, I'm amazed at some of these responses. Happy for you but, given my recent experience, disappointed mine hasn't gone in the same direction. I had my surgery in June, started PT and easy biking about 2 1/2 weeks later. I never regained full extension in that leg. Kept up the biking consistently since and wouldn't say that it is where I want to be, but real glad it has been a constant through this experience. I may be out of running altogether, though. In addition to the PT, I had an initial series of protein injections and was prescribed an unloader brace for the running. I've tried real hard to take it easy and steady and would be more than happy to just be able to slow and not worry about ever being competitive again. The longest I made it up to was 3.5 miles on a flat trail, but again, I'm ready to throw in the towel. I'm 51, used to run 3 days a week and ride 3 days a week, racing about 4-6 duathlons a year and a 5 or 10k here or there. Besides the discomfort, my altered gait is beating up my achilles. I'm going to bag it for a while and just keep up the cycling, but if anyone has a better idea, I would love to hear it!


dpm

Feb 7, 09 21:44

Post #11 of 18 (10596 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [tate] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

My story is along the lines of tate's.... of course, it was that injury that got me into cycling which led to triathlons so I guess it's not all bad. I did have 2 meniscus tears and associated cleanup as well as a partially torn ACL so maybe that's worse. I've learnt that I do not recover well from surguries so I had a really long recovery time and didn't run on it for months and also have never regained full extension. I had a bout with patellar tendinitis when I did start running and was told I would never be able to run more than 5 miles and should live with that. I finished my Ironman about a year and a half later :) I have been very tender on it up until the last few months (2.5 years later) and definitely notice how imbalanced my muscles became.

I think the key to recovery is getting a really really solid PT person with a true sportsmed background and an actual interest in running not just a gym rat or old person rehab person. To tate, a good guy can do wonders.


PC

Feb 8, 09 6:00

Post #12 of 18 (10574 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I just had mine done on Jan 22nd. Walked out of there no pain. Was biking in 2 days. Swam in 4 days.(I swim in an endless pool. Not sure if your MD will like you swimming in a public pool) Ran 10 days after. The bike and swim come back fast. I've only run 3 times since surgery for 30-40 mins each time. I tried again yesterday but was too sore at the scope site. So I will just wait a little longer for running. The running does not come back so fast. Last time I had it done was 2 years ago and it took me 5 weeks to get the running going again. Also I saw my chiro every two weeks for ART/graston. I will see him next week again as I just got the staples out.


(This post was edited by PC on Feb 8, 09 13:06)


Raptor

Feb 8, 09 7:54

Post #13 of 18 (10558 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [PC] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

In Reply To:
I just had mine done on Oct 22nd. Walked out of there no pain.....

Those are the drugs! I think everyone can walk out with no pain. Its the day after when the drugs wear off is the problem. ;-)


Fast&Crooked

Feb 8, 09 8:10

Post #14 of 18 (10552 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I had the same surgery on a Thursday and was riding by Sunday and running by the following Wednesday.


Tri2HaveFun

Feb 8, 09 9:03

Post #15 of 18 (10546 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [tate] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

"I'm going to bag it for a while and just keep up the cycling, but if anyone has a better idea, I would love to hear it!"

Hard to say what could be helpful. I eventually switched from being the typical overstriding heel striker, to a Pose-like form. Because my footstrike in now under me and with a slightly bent leg, the impact from running is absorbed more with my leg muscles. The switchover took maybe 6-10 months and I did have some achilles pain during the process. My main goal for doing this was to alleviate the stress on my knee, not for speed. I made the switch about 6 years ago and it worked out great. I was able to run just over 2500 miles last year at age 52. It's not an easy process to switch. It takes intense concentration during the initial phases to force your body to run in what feels unnatural. No idea if this would work for you as everyone's injuries are different.
Don

Tri-ing to have fun. Anything else is just a bonus!


ISleepum

Feb 8, 09 11:45

Post #16 of 18 (10527 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

This is a very individual thing. I just had surgery the later part of July to remove a plica and trim the lateral meniscus. A month later I did the Redman Aquabike 57.2, and won it despite being hit by a car in the process. I know others who had the same procedure that have not done as well as I did. The knee isn't that vascular and it takes a while to heal.

I think the key is following the surgery, you have to keep the swelling down and really work on the range of motion. The ice machine they give you is vital. I wore that thing all I could and as soon as I got home I started ranging the knee. It you splint and don't range, the collagen structure changes pretty fast and that equals stiffness. Four days after the surgery I was swimming, and a week later I was doing some light riding(spinning) on the trainer. This helped keeping the range of motion too. I used the compex muscle stimulator to maintain strength in the quads during the downtime too.

It took me a while to get the running back.....Dont push it. I started on the treadmill with some light stuff 30 days after the surgery. If it hurt I would just step off. The pain for me was at the portal sites and it took a while for the swelling around those to come down.

Good luck and keep that range of motion!
http://robchancesworld.blogspot.com



GatorDUde

Feb 8, 09 13:22

Post #17 of 18 (10514 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [slowangeleno] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

I'm on the short recovery side of the spectrum. I had a left knee medial menisectomy on Jan. 20th, 2009. They only removed about 5% of the meniscus and I'm still kind of young at 39, so those could be the factors. The doctor said keep it dry for 5 days (no swimming or showering for that matter) and to ice it for the first 4 days (I think this is important to limit swelling and maintain your range of motion).

I followed the orders accept I cheated a little on the no exercise part. They said bare weight as much as I could stand but did not mention I could run or bike. I tried a minute of running on a treadmill about a week later, then rested to see how painful it was the next day. No problem, but I rode a stationary bike the next time for 6 minutes. It felt a little weird but no obvious pain. The trick is to get the joint moving again as much as possible without overloading it (the pain feeling you get).

I got staples out at 15 days and was given the go ahead to run as much as I felt I could. I started with 5 minutes on a treadmill with a little bit of uncertain feeling (pain?). Then rode the stationary (same day) and back to the treadmill for another 6 minutes (this time didn't feel pain). Then I lifted weights and decided to run a mile more on the treadmill before going home. The next day brought no issues except maybe a little soreness. I then ran four miles two days later and things were good. They were about 30 seconds slower then my aerobic pace before surgery. Today (another two days later) I ran 8.5 miles in about 1:11 minutes (normal time for the route I took) and nearly at my pre-surgery pace. I'm feeling so good that I'm about to go out and ride for an hour.

It all depends on your surgery, doctors orders, how well you recover, how good you follow recovery procedures and how much risk you are willing to take to test it out. Good luck with your recovery. I've got 10 weeks to get ready for the Short Course National Duathlon Championship. Thankfully I haven't lost much aerobic fitness in the 2.5 weeks I had off. But then again I scheduled the surgery two days after a marathon so I'd not waste much training time, since I'd be recovering anyway.


tate

Feb 9, 09 18:43

Post #18 of 18 (10453 views)
Re: how long to recovery from meniscus surgery?? [Tri2HaveFun] [In reply to] Quote | Reply

Thanks, Don. I figured that a gait modification would have to be an option and am glad to hear that it worked so well for you. After some additional time off, I'll probably try it out again. I don't care how fast, I just want to be back out there...........

   
 
 
 



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