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REHABILITATION AFTER KNEE MENISCUS REPAIR

Phase One:  The first week after surgery
 
Goals:
 
1. Control pain and swelling
2. Initiate knee motion
3. Activate the quadriceps muscles
 
Guidelines and Activities:
 
Knee Range of Motion:
 
You can fully extend (straighten the knee). To avoid placing stress on the meniscus repair, do not bend your knee beyond 90 degrees (bent to a right angle)
 
Brace and Crutches:
 
You will go home with crutches and a knee brace locked in full extension (straight).
Unless otherwise instructed by Dr. Gill, use crutches when walking and bear weight as tolerated on the operated leg.  That is, you can bear as much weight as you can, even full weight, as long as there is no knee pain when you put your weight on the limb.  Wear the post-operative brace for walking.  Lock the brace when walking to protect the knee in case of a fall. You can unlock the brace to sit or move the knee when not walking.  When walking with the crutches, follow the instructions below:
 
Walking (weight bearing as tolerated):
 
• Put the crutches forward about one step's length.
• Put the injured leg forward; level with the crutch tips.
• Touch the foot of the involved leg to the floor and bear weight as tolerated.
• While bearing weight (on the crutches if there is pain in the knee) on the involved leg, take a step through with the uninjured leg.
 
Elastic Stockings
 
Wear an elastic stocking (TED) below the knee when out of bed until your first post-operative office visit. Do at least 10 ankle pump exercises each hour to help prevent phlebitis (blood clots in the veins).
 
Exercise Program:
 
QUADRICEPS SETTING - to maintain muscle tone in the thigh muscles and straighten the knee.
                                                                         
Lie or sit with the knee extended fully straight as in figure.  Tighten and hold the front thigh muscle making the knee flat and straight.  If done correctly, the kneecap
will slide slightly upward toward the thigh muscle.  The tightening action of the quadriceps should make your knee straighten and be pushed flat against the bed or
floor. Hold 5 seconds for each contraction.  Do 20 repetitions three times a day.
 
HEEL PROP- to straighten (extend) the knee.
 
Lie on your back with a rolled up towel under your heel or sit in a chair with the heel on a stool as shown in the figure.  Let the knee relax into extension (straight).  If the knee will not straighten fully, you can place a weight (2 to 5 pounds) on the thigh, just above the kneecap.  Try to hold this position for 5 minutes, three times a day. While maintaining this
extended position, practice quadriceps setting.
 
SITTING HEEL SLIDES - to regain the bend (flexion of the knee).
                                                   
While sitting in a chair or over the edge of your bed, support the operated leg with the uninvolved leg.  Lower the operated leg, with the unoperated leg controlling it. Allow the knee to bend but DO NOT exceed 90 degrees of bend at the knee. Hold five seconds and slowly relieve the stretch by lifting the foot upward, helping with the uninvolved leg, to the straight position (passive assist).  Repeat exercise 20 times, three times a day.
 
ANKLE PUMPS - to stimulate circulation in the leg. You should do at least 10 ankle pump exercises each hour.
 
OFFICE VISIT
 
Please return to Dr. Gill’s office approximately 10-14 days after your surgery.

 

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