One of the most common knee surgeries in the US is a partial meniscectomy. The purpose of this surgery is to remove any loose fragments from your knee joint and shave off any tears within the Meniscus. The goal is to help reduce any pain and inflammation that might be impacting your life.
This article will discuss more information about walking after a partial meniscectomy knee arthroscopy. We will talk about how early you can walk after surgery, how long you need crutches, tips to walk with a normal gait pattern faster post-surgery, and what to avoid while walking on a partially torn meniscus.
How Early can you Walk After a Partial Meniscectomy Knee Scope?
Most surgeons will recommend walking with crutches as soon as possible following surgery. This is typically the same day and within a few hours of surgery being completed.
The faster you can put weight through the joint, the faster you are going to pump swelling out and decrease muscle tightness. Walking on the surgical knee actually speeds up recovery for a partial meniscectomy. If you keep the leg bent and in a protected position this can tightness persist in the muscles and ligaments around the knee.
Pro Tip: Be mentally ready to walk the same day as your surgery. Pain levels will be manageable thanks to medication but your muscles won’t work as well yet.
Do you Need Crutches after a Knee Scope Surgery?
Yes, you will need to use crutches after a knee scope. The muscles of the leg are still recovering from surgery and won’t be strong enough in the knee to support the weight of the body immediately after surgery.
Without using crutches your knee could give out causing you to fall and injure yourself.
You can see our review we made to find the most comfortable and highest quality crutches after surgery.
How Long do you Need to Use Crutches after a Partial Meniscectomy Knee Arthroscopy?
It can take anywhere from two days to a week, or even longer in severe cases to get off of the crutches.
The important thing is that before you discontinue using crutches is to ensure that you are able to walk as normally as possible. The crutches allow you to practice a normal gait pattern with minimal pain.
Some key points to work on while you are walking with crutches:
- get the knee fully straight during gait
- being able to tolerate putting your body weight in the knee without it giving out
- having a normal amount of knee bend during the swing phase
How Much Weight Can You Put in Your Knee After a Knee Arthroscopy?
After a partial Meniscectomy knee scope, you would be weight-bearing as tolerated or WBAT. This means that you can put as much weight through your surgical knee as your body can with moderate pain levels.
By using crutches you will be able to control what percentage of your weight you put through your knee at any time.
Pro Tip: Make sure that you are walking normally before increasing the weight you put in the leg. For example, we see people walking on their toes to avoid putting weight in their surgical leg but this will only cause more issues.
Put weight on your leg in a normal walking pattern for the fastest recovery.
Tips for Walking Better After Knee Arthroscopy
Walking normally after a knee scope can be difficult for many reasons. Your knee is swollen, there is potentially a large bandage, and at times a fair amount of pain. However, getting back to normal walking mechanics is an important goal early in the recovery process.
In addition to your physical therapy exercises, walking on the knee helps improve strength. This in turn with makes walking normal easier the stronger your leg gets.
Some helpful tips to walk better after a knee scope include:
- Walking with a heel-to-toe gait pattern
- Getting the knee straight when your body weight is on it
- Getting full hip extension with your leg fully behind you
- Avoid swinging the leg out sideways to progress the leg
- Emphasis pushing off with the toes instead of lifting the leg up
How to Use Crutches Correctly
What to Avoid After Knee Scope Surgery
There are a few things that you should avoid doing after knee arthroscopy. Most of them are easy to avoid such as running, jumping, and crawling on the knee immediately after surgery. Give some time before attempting those activities. Other things to avoid include:
- Soaking the knee in water such as a hot tub or swimming pool for 1-2 weeks
- Flying within 1-2 weeks unless cleared by your physician
- Kneeling on the knee before 2 weeks post-op
- Jumping on one or two legs within 3-4 weeks of surgery
The main thing you want to think about is letting the meniscus and surrounding tissue heal after surgery and you want to reduce any risk of infection or blood clots.
Walking after a partial meniscectomy knee arthroscopy is a concern for a lot of people before surgery. You will want to use crutches initially and then progress back to walking normally as soon as possible with your surgical leg. Walking with proper mechanics can help you recover faster, reduce joint and muscles tightness, and speed up muscle strength post-surgery.
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Disclaimer: The information provided in this post is for educational purposes only. This is not a substitute for a medical appointment. Please refer to your physician before starting any exercise program.