Is Surgery
Knee Surgery Pain
Meniscus Surgery
Meniscus Tear Treatment
Replacement Hip Surgery
Surgery Rehab

How Long Does it Take to Rehab From Meniscus Surgery?

A physical therapist examines a patient's knee

Meniscus injuries -- tears in the shock-absorbing structure in your knee joints -- are the most common type of knee injury in people of all ages. These painful injuries often require surgery to trim frayed edges or repair tears in the meniscus. Rehab after surgery will improve movement and strength in your leg. In general, your rehab will be complete within a few months after surgery but may continue for as long as 6 months.

A man wearing a knee brace walks down an hospital corridor

Immediately After Surgery

Immediately after meniscus surgery, your knee will likely be immobilized in a brace locked in a straight position. You will use crutches, and your doctor may limit the amount of weight you can put on the injured leg. Ice may be applied to your knee several times per day to decrease pain and swelling. Within 7 to 10 days after surgery, your stitches will be removed and physical therapy will begin.

A physical therapist does exercises with a patient's knee

Phase 1

Phase 1 of rehab after meniscus repair may begin within a few days after surgery and continue for 6 weeks. Your physical therapist will remove your brace, and you will likely perform quad sets -- tensing of the muscles on the front of your thigh with your leg straight on a supported surface. You will also slowly begin to bend your knee until you are able to move it to 90 degrees. Your doctor may instruct you to remove your brace during the day, except while walking and sleeping, to perform exercises prescribed by your therapist. You will gradually increase the amount of weight on the injured leg while you walk, decreasing your need for crutches. Exercises that do not put weight on your leg -- such as stationary cycling -- may also be part of your physical therapy program.

A physical therapist observes a patient walking while holding onto rails

Phase 2

Phase 2 of rehab typically begins around week 6 and continues through week 10 after surgery. Your brace may be unlocked in this phase to allow a limited amount of knee bending while walking. You will perform exercises to restore full bending and straightening of your knee. Strengthening exercises in this phase may include step-ups, balance training -- such as standing on 1 foot -- and mini-squats. You may also perform exercises using ankle weights for added resistance. Toward the end of phase 2, plyometric training -- jumping activities -- may also be included in your rehab.

Close-up of legs walking on a treadmill

Phase 3

Phase 3 rehab begins when you have full, pain-free movement of your knee. You may continue to wear your brace while walking, though it will likely be unlocked. Approximately 4 months after surgery, your doctor may allow you to start running activities in therapy. This typically begins on a treadmill, and you may initially start by walking or jogging backward to reduce strain on your injured knee. If you are an athlete, box jumps, agility exercises and sprinting activities may be added as your strength improves.

Note – This information has been taken from different internet sources.


Jul 25, 2016
Gail Lewis

I agree with @MendMeShop. I had a part of my meniscus removed over 20 years ago, my Sports Medicine Chiropractor gave me exercises right after the operation, and said do them as discussed, don’t over do it. My knee healed and 22 years later, I have no problem or pain with it, at all.

Jul 25, 2016

People tend to forget that an injured meniscus will force more stress upon the ligaments within the knee as they will bear more weight of the joint. Hence, a comprehensive plan to include strengthening of all muscle and soft tissue within the region is imperative for a strong recovery.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.