Rehabilitation after Meniscal Transplant
After meniscal transplant surgery, a knee brace and crutches are required for approximately four to six weeks. This allows the transplanted meniscus and surrounding tissue to become fully attached to the bone while it heals. A physical therapy program is an important part of the rehabilitation process and will help patients regain flexibility, strength and motion in the knee joint. Without proper rehabilitation, complications such as chronic pain, inflammation and weakness, may cause difficulty walking and performing physical activities.
The injured knee is often treated with a removable brace, and patients are typically advised not to put any weight on the leg for several weeks. A physical therapist helps the patient to walk safely using crutches or other assistive device. Once the brace has been removed and patients can begin moving their leg, physical therapy and home exercise are extremely important for a full recovery. Physical therapy treatments may include:
- Muscle strengthening exercises
- Gradual weight-bearing activities
- Range of motion exercises
- Balance training
Depending on the patient's physical job requirements or athletic activities, a physical therapist may create a tailored treatment plan. Activities can slowly be introduced during the rehabilitation period, however, full recovery from a meniscal transplant may take 6 months to 1 year.