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Factors That Affect Recovery After a Meniscal Tear Operation

Factors That Affect Recovery After a Meniscal Tear Operation

A potential result of intense physical exertion or arthritic inflammation, a meniscal tear in the knee can affect patients of all ages and lifestyles. Following a meniscal tear operation, however, each patient shares the same desire to make a complete recovery as quickly as possible. Notwithstanding, there are countless variables that can determine whether their recovery falls within the average timeframe or extends far beyond it. 

Recovery From a Meniscal Tear Operation 

If a meniscal tear doesn’t show signs of progression after an orthopaedist first recommends conservative treatments including rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and physical therapy, specialists may refer to surgical intervention. The most common operation for a meniscal tear is a minimally invasive arthroscopic procedure to either repair the meniscus, remove a section of the meniscus, or remove the entire piece of cartilage. 

The initial steps to recovery involve plenty of physical rest. Patients wear knee-relieving equipment, such as a brace or cast, as well as crutches to relieve weight from the affected knee. After the initial stages of recovery, patients must begin a rehabilitation program that consists of physical therapy exercises. Such exercises strengthen the muscles surrounding the knee, helping the patient regain stability and mobility. 

Factors That Affect Post-Operation Recovery

Recovering from a meniscal tear operation requires effort from both the patient and their specialist. Regardless of how closely a patient follows their prescribed regimen of rest, knee relief, and physical therapy, there are a number of factors that may influence the actual timeframe for recovery such as:  

  • Age

    Due to inflammatory response and potential malabsorption, older patients may experience longer recovery times. 

  • Weight

    Patients with a higher BMI often experience prolonged recovery, because their knees support added weight.   

  • History

    When patients have a medical history that includes conditions such as arthritis or diabetes, they are likely to take more time to fully recover. 

  • Lifestyle

    Because of lower level of oxygen in their blood, patients with habits such as smoking often take longer to recover. 

  • Location

    The location of a meniscal tear can affect the way the wound heals, because certain parts of the knee are closer to blood vessels and cells than others.  

  • Athleticism

    Patient’s with an already active lifestyle may recover faster than those without an existing active routine.

  • Operation

    Depending on whether the operation is a simple repair or complete meniscectomy, the recovery time will vary.  

Recover and Make Your Return in St. Augustine 

Recovery from a meniscal tear operation can come in many different forms. For a completely personalized recovery plan tailored to your health and wellness, partner with the specialists at Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine. If making a comeback is your main priority, our sports medicine specialists can create a physical therapy plan that gets you back on the field. Or, if returning to your regular, relaxing routine is your ultimate goal, our orthopaedic team can design an effective rehabilitation plan. Schedule your appointment today by filling out our online request form or calling 904-825-0540. 


Paul Roettges, MDPaul Roettges – MD
A member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the American Association of Knee and Hip Surgeries, Dr. Roettges performs hip and knee replacements as well as complex unresolved hip and knee pain.