How Long Does Recovery Take for Meniscus Repairs and Transplants?

Although meniscal repairs and transplants address injuries in the same structure, they are different procedures involving separate types of restorations. Consequently, recovery and rehabilitation for both interventions will not be the same.

During the initial recovery phase, patients undergoing either procedure will have their knee immobilized in a brace and require mobility aids like walkers or crutches to reduce weight bearing on the operated joint. NSAIDs will be prescribed to reduce pain and swelling, and patients will be instructed to care for their wounds properly.

Since every individual is different, recovery following either intervention will depend on variable factors such as age, weight, lifestyle, overall health, and adherence to rehabilitation. Patients recovering from meniscus repairs may remove their brace and stop using mobility aids after a few days or a few weeks, while patients recovering from meniscus transplants typically have to utilize them for up to 6 weeks

Rehabilitation will focus on progressively regaining muscle strength and joint mobility, steadily advancing to more intensive exercises. Meniscus repairs usually involve a shorter recovery and rehabilitation period of 4-6 months, while meniscus transplants may require 8-10 months before returning to pre-op activity levels. 

Both procedures' outcomes are overall favorable as long as patients follow recommendations and adhere to their rehabilitation schedule. Some complications may arise even though it's rare, and patients should seek medical attention if they report any of the following:

  • Joint stiffness 
  • Severe swelling
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Pain that doesn't go away with medication
  • Wound discharge indicative of infections (including fever)