Meniscus injuries, affecting the rubbery cushions in the knee joint, can be painful and limit mobility. Because the meniscus cartilage often doesn’t heal on its own, surgery may be necessary. At Mattalino Orthopedic in Scottsdale, AZ, Angelo Mattalino, MD, our experienced orthopedic doctor offers meniscus repair to patients in the Phoenix, AZ area, who want to regain the full function of their knees.
How Soon Can You Walk After Meniscus Repair?
After meniscus surgery, the timeline for walking again varies depending on the severity of the injury, the type of surgery performed, and individual healing capabilities. Typically, patients rest for one to two weeks, then begin with assisted walking, using crutches or a walker to gradually transition to walking independently. The initial phase of recovery focuses on allowing the surgical site to heal.
Physical therapy plays a crucial role in regaining strength and range of motion. As the weeks progress, patients gradually increase weight-bearing activities and transition to walking without assistance. The full recovery timeline can range from a few weeks to a few months, depending on the specific case. Once patients can walk comfortably, they can gradually reintroduce low-impact activities and sports, following the guidance of Dr. Mattalino.
Aside from resting your leg, you have to do several other things to ensure proper healing during the recovery period. Pain medication and anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to manage discomfort, while blood-thinning medications should be avoided. A healthy, balanced diet rich in nutrients supports the body’s healing process.
Physical therapy plays a significant role in restoring strength, flexibility, and function to the knee. Patients are advised to follow the prescribed rehabilitation exercises and attend therapy sessions regularly. Returning to work depends on the nature of the job and the individual’s progress. Sedentary work may be resumed earlier, while physically demanding occupations may require several months off.
What Happens During Meniscus Surgery?
Meniscus surgery aims to repair or remove damaged portions of the meniscus to restore knee functionality. Before the procedure, patients may undergo imaging tests and consultations to assess the extent of the injury and determine the best course of action. On the day of surgery, anesthesia is administered to ensure comfort throughout the procedure.
Small incisions are then made to access the knee joint. Dr. Mattalino uses specialized instruments, such as arthroscopes, to visualize and repair the meniscus. In cases where repair is not possible, the damaged portion may be removed. The surgical site is then closed, and postoperative instructions are provided.
What Is the Meniscus?
The meniscus is a piece of cartilage in the knee joint, serving as a crucial shock absorber. It plays a vital role in distributing weight, reducing friction, and providing stability to the knee during movement. Each knee has two menisci. While the medial meniscus is located on the inner side, the lateral meniscus is located on the outer side.
When the meniscus gets injured, whether due to trauma or degeneration, it can lead to pain, swelling, and limitations in knee function. Tears in the meniscus disrupt its ability to cushion the joint properly. Depending on the location and severity of the tear, symptoms can range from mild discomfort to significant pain and mobility restrictions. Proper diagnosis and treatment are essential to prevent further damage and restore knee function.
Is Surgery Always Necessary?
Not all meniscus injuries require surgery. The need for surgery depends on the location, size, and severity of the tear, as well as the individual’s symptoms and activity level. Minor tears or tears in the outer portion of the meniscus may heal on their own with conservative treatments, such as rest, physical therapy, and anti-inflammatory medications.
However, when conservative measures fail to alleviate symptoms or in cases of significant tears, surgery may be necessary to address the underlying issue. Only a qualified healthcare professional like Dr. Mattalino can determine the appropriate course of treatment based on a thorough evaluation and diagnostic tests. If your knee is hurting and you suspect a meniscus injury, come to the clinic as soon as possible.
What Results Can I Expect?
Surgical repair of the meniscus can lead to significant improvements in knee mobility. By addressing the tear and restoring the integrity of the meniscus, patients often experience reduced pain and increased functionality. One notable advantage of repairing a torn meniscus is the potential to prevent future complications, such as the development of osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative condition that affects the cartilage in the joints.
It leads to pain, stiffness, and decreased mobility. By promptly addressing meniscus tears through surgical repair, the risk of developing osteoarthritis can be minimized. Restoring the normal structure and function of the meniscus contributes to long-term joint health and reduces the likelihood of joint deterioration. The duration of the results varies depending on the specific case and the extent of the injury, but they are typically considered permanent.
Where To Find a High-Quality Orthopedic Doctor in Phoenix, AZ
Finding a high-quality orthopedic doctor is essential for receiving optimal care and achieving favorable outcomes. Start by seeking recommendations from trusted sources, such as family, friends, or primary care physicians, who can provide insights based on personal experiences. Online review platforms and medical directories can also offer valuable information and patient reviews.
Why Choose Dr. Mattalino?
Dr. Angelo Mattalino is a renowned orthopedic surgeon with a reputation for excellence in his field. With a commitment to both his private Orthopaedic Surgery practice and to education, Dr. Mattalino has made significant contributions to the field of orthopedics.
Dr. Mattalino’s dedication to education and training reflects his pursuit of staying at the forefront of orthopedic advancements. This commitment translates into exceptional patient care and a deep understanding of the latest treatment options and techniques. When choosing Dr. Mattalino as your orthopedic doctor, you can trust that you are in the hands of a highly skilled professional who prioritizes patient well-being and strives for the best possible outcomes.
Address Your Meniscus Problems Now
The recovery period after meniscus repair is a crucial phase in regaining mobility and returning to an active lifestyle. While the exact timeline may vary depending on individual factors and the extent of the surgery, most patients can expect to start walking with the aid of crutches or a brace within a few days to a couple of weeks. Send a message to us at Mattalino Orthopedic, MD, in Scottsdale, AZ to consult with an experienced orthopedic doctor in Phoenix, AZ.