Advertisement - Hide this advert





Author Topic: Plica removal surgery recovery time?  (Read 3442 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

confusedbyplica123

  • Guest
Plica removal surgery recovery time?
« on: January 18, 2015, 09:45:25 PM »
Hello, KneeGeeks!

First off, I am very sorry that you all are on this board. Knee problems are horrible! I am a very active athlete who had an ACL sprain and have plica syndrome. MRI showed fluid, inflammation and a plica. I am having lots of popping and clicking, along with lots of pain that has not gone away with 8 weeks of PT. Doctor is suggesting a knee scope soon, but we are trying a few more weeks of PT first. He doesn't like cortisone injections, so we didn't do that. He also said that the injection wouldn't fix the problem, it would just mask the pain, so I would rather go right for a scope. So, does anyone have experience with plica excision surgery?

My questions:
How long will I be on crutches?
How long will I be in physical therapy?
What is recovery like?
Is it safe to compete in sports within a few weeks of surgery?


Thank you so much for any help!

confusedbyplica123

  • Guest
Re: Plica removal surgery recovery time?
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2015, 09:51:04 PM »
Also, how long does it typically take to schedule surgery? I would like to get this done ASAP!

Offline Vickster

  • Administrator
  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • Posts: 4627
  • Liked: 372
  • Neelie knee!
Re: Plica removal surgery recovery time?
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2015, 10:01:57 PM »
The timescale will depend on your country, your healthcare cover, the surgeon's availability.  You'd need to contact the hospital / surgeon to find out what the wait time might be

- You might not be on crutches at all after arthroscopy, will depend on your surgeon and your pain levels, and if anything else needs fixing in the op

- Physio will depend on you, your surgeon, your healthcare cover

- Recovery also will depend on you, and what you are aiming to do (I've had 2 scopes before for different things, 2-3 weeks off work and driving (left knee), a few more weeks before back to gym type stuff.  Again will depend on what your surgeon and physio say

- Unlikely.  You might be allowed to swim after 3 or 4 weeks once the stitches are out, possibly static bicycle or elliptical.  Anything involving running, a couple of months rather than weeks.  Again, really depends on how well you recover, how well your muscles cope, how dilligent you are with physio exercises etc

These are all questions for the surgeon (you can also use the search function to find others accounts of plica).  Surgery should be a last resort after everything else has failed if at all possible.  An arthroscopy will likely inflame and swell the knee more, it needs a number of weeks to recover from the trauma to the joint

Good luck :)
Came off bike onto concrete 9/9/09
LK arthroscopy 8/2/10
2nd scope on 16/12/10
RK arthroscopy on 5/2/15
Lateral meniscus trim, excision of hoffa's fat pad, chondral stabilisation
LK scope 10.1.19 medial menisectomy, trochlea microfracture, general tidy up

Offline MDAL

  • Forum Faithful
  • ****
  • Posts: 450
  • Liked: 108
Re: Plica removal surgery recovery time?
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2015, 09:18:34 AM »
First things first, MRIs are not too precise, what can be seen is often confusing and surgeons often find during the surgery things they didn't find at all in the MRI.

The cause of the effusion (excessive fluids) could be plica, could be a meniscus tear or a piece of cartilage triggering the inflammation and effusion process. If something is not right inside the joint, that zone tends to trigger signals that start the whole process. I suppose the doctor will explore your knee with the camera and see what exactly needs to be cleaned. Could be more than just plica.

My questions:
How long will I be on crutches?

Depends on what is done. If nothing is stitched like a meniscus you should be able to put weight in a very short time.

How long will I be in physical therapy?

Same as before. If it's something small, and you don't loose much range of motion and if you are not immobilized for long, you might not waste too much muscle in a small surgery.

What is recovery like?

Depends a lot from person to person. For some folks it's like candy and they are back in the battle in days others may take weeks or months before inflammation clears out...

Is it safe to compete in sports within a few weeks of surgery?

No. Each doctor has it's own protocol, but I wouldn't go running on it. It takes time for the natural oil in the joint to form and by rushing into sports, you might cause cartilage issues or even meniscus tears... I would exercise, but not in a sports fashion for a reasonable time. If the inflammation clears out soon, then you might ask for an injection of Hyaluronic acid (artificial injected joint oil), before you go into sports. Sports in early stage can also trigger you inflammatory reactions...

About timings for surgery, Vickster already replied, it's a big depends on where you are, what healthcare system you are using and even luck.

Good luck and all the best to you...


Offline Clarkey

  • SuperKNEEgeek
  • *****
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 4180
  • Liked: 75
  • Neil TheElephant knee packed up carrying his trunk
Re: Plica removal surgery recovery time?
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2015, 04:46:58 PM »
Hi There,

I have had first hands experience of plica syndrome as well as an inflammation of the fat pad in my right knee and should always consider surgery as the last option if all other conservative methods of treatment have failed!

I was feeling catching and sharp pain on the lateral side of my right knee that was the inflamed fat pad that was trimmed during the surgery and my medial plica was removed. At 1st the surgery did help as it removed the catching sensation, just took a while to fully recover.

18 months it took until I was able to run long distance at a competitive level that varies from one person to the next that has been through medial plica excision surgery! I then formed excessive scarring inside my right knee that can happen with soft tissue injuries that seem to bleed more after surgery.

I then had to have interior interval release surgery (AIR) July 2014 and now I am over 6 months post op and my right knee feels worse than it did pre-op, seeing my OS again next week what to do next!

Your questions have already been answered and did not really need crutches after my 1st scope and did not need one for my 2nd scope it more for none weigh bearing surgical procedures like microfracture when you have to only partly weight bearing. This helps not to disturb the new layer of cartilage that is not as hard as the original cartilage!

I did not need to see a PT after both scopes, this was optional.

My fat pad was inflamed that was surrounded by fluid, yours sounds similar but is around your plica!

Good luck.

[email protected] 
RK: PFPS, Arthrofibrosis, Tendinopathy, Five cortisone injections
16/01/18 Anterior interval release, distal patella excision, lateral meniscal repair
18/07/14 Anterior interval release  
16/11/09 Medial plica excision, fat pad trimming