Article provided by: Walter A Thomas, MD
Your knees are prone to injuries, especially when we play sports or as we age. There are two cartilage discs that connect your thighbone to your shinbone. They act like small shock absorbers for your bones and they keep your knees stabilized. Playing sports and other activities can cause you to tear the meniscus. Meniscus tears can also occur as you age and through repeated motions such as kneeling and squatting. An orthopedic surgeon will determine whether you require surgery for your injury, call a meniscectomy. After you have the procedure you will requires medial meniscectomy recovery time.
The Meniscectomy Procedure
Not everyone who has a meniscus tear requires surgical treatment. The first step is to perform some diagnostics tests to determine the extent of the injury and path for treatment. In cases where the injury is relatively minor the surgeon may be able to make an arthroscopic repair. In this procedure the doctor will insert a tiny arthroscope through a small incision. Then, small devices are put into place that will hold the tear together as it heals.
More severe injuries might require either a partial or total meniscectomy. This procedure is also performed with an arthroscope so it is considered a low-risk surgery. In a partial meniscectomy the doctor removes the damaged portion of the meniscus while in a total meniscectomy the entire meniscus is removed. Many people wonder what to expect with the medial meniscectomy recovery process.
Medial Meniscectomy Recovery
Immediately following arthroscopic surgery you will start the medial meniscectomy recovery process. Recovery for all types of surgeries begins with some rest and you will need to keep the area stable. This may require a brace or a cast that will prevent movement during the initial stages. You will need to stay off of your knee and will need to use crutches for a period of time.
Once the healing is established you will begin physical therapy. You will learn exercises that will strengthen the area without causing any damage to it while it continues to heal. You can expect recovery from a partial or total meniscectomy to take about a month while recovery from a repair could take as long as several months.
Physical therapy is essential to a complete recovery. This will increase the range of motion and allow your knee to heal fully. Complications are rare and you may be provided with antibiotics and pain medication. You may also need to wear compression socks while your legs are being stabilized. This is done to prevent blood clots.
Once recovery is complete you will be able to return to your regular activities. You will also be able to begin participating in sports and hobbies after your knees are strong again. This type of surgical procedure will repair the knee and restore mobility while eliminating any pain or discomfort you may have had. You will soon be able to walk, run and do everything else you would like after you complete the medial meniscectomy recovery process.
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