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Author Topic: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery  (Read 2344 times)

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Offline jkb

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Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« on: April 24, 2012, 06:13:23 PM »
Hello,

I'm in the 12th day after my meniscus surgery, which removed 40% of the left lateral meniscus. Having been to the PT one time, I got a few exercises I've been doing at home daily, and wanted to share my progress and some worries in the hope to hear some feedback.

1. Pain when bending the knee.

Before the surgery, I had pain the the back of the knee, close to the lateral part, which was a symptom of the meniscus tear that I had. Interestingly, I have the same pain now after the surgery, but much stronger! It happens when the knee is about 90 degrees bent or more. It is not all the time, but when it happens, it is a very sharp pain, which takes place through the whole back of the knee.

Has anyone had a similar experience? I wonder if it is because of the cut meniscus which is still healing? Or because there is now a gap in the joint which was not there before?

2. Shaky, very shaky leg after bending the knee

After bending the knee a few  times, when I try to hold the leg bent in the air, my leg starts shaking uncontrollably. As much as I try to stabilize it, it won't help - it is like an electrical discharge is going through the muscles. It only subsides when I straighten it again. Note that this does not happen when I walk, but only when trying to hold the leg bent in the air. What could be causing this? Has anyone had a similar experience?

Thanks for any thoughts you may provide!
« Last Edit: April 24, 2012, 06:21:48 PM by jkb »

Offline lululocket

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #1 on: April 24, 2012, 07:32:28 PM »
Hi,

Not sure about the pain. I don't know much about meniscus surgery, so I'm leaving that well alone. You've only had one PT session, so I wouldn't work into pain unless he/she says it's okay to do so, and I hope you're going back to PT soon?

Shaking is usually due to weak muscles - this is when you are trying to hold the leg still using several muscles, and as they get more tired, they start to shake. It means they've reached the point of fatigue. To get muscles to grow bigger, you need to work up to fatigue, otherwise your body thinks it's got it covered and has no reason to use energy growing the muscle.

Can you elaborate how you are sitting when this happens? Or are you lying on your back? It isn't totally clear what is going on?
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline jkb

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #2 on: April 24, 2012, 08:39:28 PM »
Hi lululocket!

Thanks for your reply!

To answer your question, I was lying on my back, doing a straight leg raise, and then bending the knee while the leg was in the air.

I tend to agree with you when you say that the shaking is probably because of the fatigue. When I start with the exercises I can go on for a few minutes before it starts. And now that I think about it, it is happening later and later into the exercise series, which means I'm slowly getting more resilient. I'm seeing my PT again this week so I will ask about it too, and will report back here how everything progresses.

As to the pain, still a bit of a puzzle for me. But I do respect it and don't work into it while exercising.

Thanks for your help!

Offline LindaM

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #3 on: April 24, 2012, 09:27:30 PM »
Hi jkb,

The pain could very well be your unhappy meniscus complaining.  I have had meniscus surgery and 2 PKR's where what is left of the meniscus is removed from the replaced half.  The meniscus pain was the worst part, but at least in my case, once it stopped, it didn't bother again.  You also had your knee cranked around during the surgery, so you may have bruising in there as well.  That takes 2-3 weeks to fully resolve.

Good luck in PT and swift healing.

Linda
>20 yrs. osteo and inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia
meniscus repair Sept. 2009
right PKR June 2010
left PKR Feb. 2012

Offline lululocket

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #4 on: April 24, 2012, 11:21:08 PM »
Ah I'm glad you say you're sitting - definitely just muscle weakness. If you were standing then I was trying to think what other weird thing might be going on, but other than 'hand in electric socket' I couldn't think of anything!
2003 RK dislocation
multiple sublaxations (10+), both knees
2007 LK dislocation
03/2010 TTT on RK
03/2012 TTT on LK

Offline jkb

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2012, 08:49:10 PM »
Hi guys, and thanks for the replies so far :-)

I'm now completing almost 3 weeks after the surgery, and the progress has been quite good I think. The pain I had when bending the knee is nearly gone, though it will still happen when I squat. And the shaking of the leg, yes that one is gone too :-)

I've been doing a range of exercises to build up muscle strength and to recover the range of movement, and I think they are producing good results.

The strange thing is though that the knee continues swollen. And the 3 spots through which the arthroscopy tools went in are very bumpy. As much as I have tried, there is not enough RICE I can do to make the swelling go away. And that is what I have been wondering now... Is it normal to take this long for the swelling to disappear? If so, how much longer would it take still?

The annoying part is that it takes time for the knee to "loosen up". It is so stiff when my leg stands still for a while, and it takes a bit of pedaling in the air for it to warm up. If you have any tips on how to speed it up so that the swelling goes away faster, please let me know.

Thanks!
JKB
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 09:07:45 PM by jkb »

Offline LindaM

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 09:47:36 PM »
Its great to hear you are doing so well.

 Everyone heals differently and swelling at three weeks, as long as it isn't extreme, isn't unusual.  You are working your knee with your exercises and pain during squats is telling you that your body isn't completely done healing yet.  I know what you mean about bumpy scars.  Mine still puff out if I overdo things and my knee starts to swell. Your stiffness is probably related to the swelling-fluid takes space.  When you have gotten everything moving the extra fluid is forced out of the joint, but comes right back when you are still.

You might want to try lymphatic massage to move some of the swelling out of the knee.  You just start about mid-calf and do gentle strokes past your knee toward the groin for about 10 minutes at a time.(best seated with your legs up or lying down)  It encourages the lymphatic system to work more efficiently.  I have tried it and it helps.

Good healing :)

Linda

>20 yrs. osteo and inflammatory arthritis, fibromyalgia
meniscus repair Sept. 2009
right PKR June 2010
left PKR Feb. 2012

Offline stevi57

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Re: Rehab progress after meniscus surgery
« Reply #7 on: May 31, 2012, 10:56:11 PM »
Hi
Hope you are recovering well,keep up your exercises and hope all will come together for you.