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 Meniscal Root or Complex Repair Surgical Rehabilitation

Phase I (Surgery to 8 weeks postoperative)


  • Home exercise program will begin after surgery

  • PT 1-3x/week

Rehabilitation Goals

  • Protection of the post-surgical knee

  • Eliminate effusion

  • Restore leg control


  • Weight bearing: NWB with crutches for first 4 weeks, then gradually increase WB locked in extension

  • Brace: locked in extension

  • Range of motion: no greater than 90 degrees with therapy or when seated

Suggested Therapeutic Exercise

  • Range of motion: Heel props, prone hands, supine wall slides, knee flexion off edge of table

  • Quad sets, hamstring sets

  • SLR 4 directions with brace

  • Heel slides to 90 degrees

  • Abdominal isometrics

Cardiovascular exercise

• Upper body circuit training or upper body ergometer (UBE)

Progression Criteria

  • 8 weeks postoperative

  • Pain free gait without crutches

  • No effusion


Phase II (weeks 8-12 weeks)


• Rehabilitation appointments are 1-3 times per week

Rehabilitation Goals

  • Single leg stand control

  • Normalize gait

  • Good control and no pain with functional movements


  • No forced flexion

  • Weight bearing flexion limited to 60 degrees

  • Avoid post-activity swelling

  • No impact activities

Suggested Therapeutic Exercise

  • Non-impact balance and proprioceptive drills

  • Stationary bike

  • Gait training

  • Hip and core strengthening

  • Stretching

  • Quad strengthening

Cardiovascular exercise

• Non-impact training including stationary bike, elliptical, swimming, aqua jogging

Progression Criteria

  • Normal gait on all surfaces

  • Ability to carry out function movements without unloading

    affected leg or pain

  • Single leg balance greater than 15 seconds


Phase III (12-16 weeks post-operatively)


• Rehabilitation appointments are once every 1-2 weeks

Rehabilitation Goals

• Good control and no pain with sport and work specific movements, including impact


  • Post-activity soreness should resolve within 24 hours

  • Avoid post-activity swelling

  • Avoid posterior knee pain with end range knee flexion

Suggested Therapeutic exercises

  • Impact control exercises

  • Closed chain strengthening for quad and glutes with


  • Single leg balance exercises with progression

  • Hip strengthening

  • Core strengthening and stabilization

  • Begin plyometric training

Cardiovascular exercise

• Replicate sport or work specific energy demands

Return to sport/work

• Dynamic neuromuscular control with multi-plane activities without pain or swelling


Phase IV (20 weeks post-operative)


• Rehabilitation appointments are once every week

Rehabilitation Goals

  • Normal multi-planar high velocity equal bilaterally without compensation

  • Normal plyometric form equal bilaterally without compensation


• No active reactive swelling or joint pain that lasts more than 12 hours

Suggested Therapeutic exercises

  • Progressive agility drills

  • Landing mechanics

  • Movement control exercises

  • Proprioceptive drills

  • Sport/work specific drills

  • Hip strengthening

  • Core strengthening and stabilization

  • stretching

Cardiovascular exercise

• Replicate sport/work, progressive running program

Return to sport/work criteria

  • Dynamic neuromuscular control with multi-plane activities, without pain, instability or swelling

  • Physician and rehabilitation specialist approval

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