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Had knee arthroscopy to fix a flipped meniscus. Feeling tightness on knee. Exercise to be done?

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General & Family Physician
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Hi doctor, I had knee arthroscopy to fix a flipped meniscus on 30 XXXXXXX 2013. Before the surgery, I was not able to walk for close to 2 months and spent most of the time on my bed.

Its been 10 weeks since the surgery and I am walking with one crutch now. I can straighten my leg and can bend my knee to 120 degree. My PT hopes that I can be off crutches. I am trying to do that. She says patients are usually off crutches by the 9th week. Problem is there is still pain around the wound if I did not control my strength properly when I lift up my good leg. At times, the nerves will twitch and that will make my knee unstable, and in turn make me lose balance. I can only manage baby steps and I walk really slow. How can I strengthen the knee further to walk better?

Also, my knee feels very tight after a few steps. I cannot really bend my knee to walk normally. What exercises can I do to relieve the tightness? The knee cap is still sitting very closely to the groove. How can I strengthen it to reduce the pain when I bend my knee?

Thank you.
Posted Wed, 8 May 2013 in Bones, Muscles and Joints
Answered by Dr. Raju A.T 11 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Yes, your Physiotherapist is right in saying that a person with Meniscial repair by arthroscopy should be able to walk without crutches by 9th week.

In your case it could be lack of exercise which has delayed the recovery. The pain you have could be the reason for inability to stretch the leg to the optimum which essential for recovery.

I suggest you to be placed on pain killer medication like a topical Diclofenac gel or an oral medication like a combination of Diclofenac and Thiocolchicoside. Thiocolchicoside is a muscle relaxant which helps you to stretch the legs without opposing stiffness.

Regular walking and a simple exercise involving stretching of the leg making an angle near to 180 degree at the knee is sufficient for the meniscial defect to get corrected.

Consult your treating physician for the above medication I suggested.

Hope I answered your query.

Please let me know if there are any other concerns.

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