Rehab for Articular Cartilage Injury Following Surgery

A good care of attention and proper rehab should be given to the patient suffering from articular cartilage injury after the surgery. There are many post-surgery activities to be performed by a patient, and the type of activities depends on surgery type. Most important behaviors to be followed are:

Exercises for Articular Cartilage Injury

  • Continuous Passive Motion In Short CPM Machine: The CPM machine for articular cartilage injury helps to the knee to move gradually and to lessen joint stiffness. The machine can be strapped to the leg after that it will automatically let the leg to move up and forth to give continuous bends and straights to the knee. This activity must begin soon after the surgery. This post-surgery rehab behavior lessens stiffness, lessens pain and helps recover from articular cartilage injury soon.
  • Formal Physiotherapy Treatments for Early Recovery from Articular Cartilage Injury: After most of the knee surgeries, it is the physiotherapy that helps the healing process enormously. The foremost physiotherapy treatments support to lessen the ache and swelling. And also a good care must be given to make sure the patient is putting only a permitted amount of weight to the affected leg. Patients are strictly advised to refrain from giving too much weight at least for about six weeks. In general it takes about six week for the healing process.
  • Use of a Pair of Crutches or a Walker: Ambulating with assistive device like walker or crutches is an essential part of rehab for articular cartilage injury following surgery to protect his operated leg from too much strain.
  • Programmed Set of Exercises for Articular Cartilage Injury: To improve knee functioning and to activate and tender the muscles regular programmed set of exercises are required. When involving in exercises patient and his care takers need to make sure not to put excessive strain to the affected section of the cartilage. Gradually more challenging exercises need to be introduced to the program to bring the knee functions back to normal and to recommence the patient's normal lifestyle behaviors. Since this is a timely process a good care of physiotherapist cannot be expected all the time. Therefore patient suffering from articular cartilage injury has to take a bigger portion of the responsibility to make his healing process quicker and safe.

Exercises for Articular Cartilage Injury

Regular exercises after the complete recovery from articular cartilage injury helps in prevention of recurrence of the articular cartilage injury. Below mentioned are some of the recommended exercises for articular cartilage injury:

  1. Hamstring Stretch Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Hamstring Stretch Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Hamstring stretch exercise for articular cartilage injury helps in stretching your knee joint and helps you prevent the recurrence of articular cartilage injury. Warm-up for about 5 minutes before you start this exercise, As shown in the diagram, first lie down then take a bed sheet and loop it around right foot. Pull the leg up, and then stretch it. Keep for about 20 seconds, and then slowly move the leg down. Repeat this process twice. Then repeat the same for the other leg.

  2. Calf Stretch Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Calf Stretch Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Calf stretch exercise for articular cartilage injury will stretch the calf and reduces the general pressure applied on the knee joint. With a support of a chair twist your right leg. Keep the left leg at the back, and straighten it slowly keeping behind you. Press the left heel to the floor. You ought to feel the stretch. Hold for about 20 seconds. Repeat it for two times, and then repeat it to the other leg.

    For a perfect stretch: Lean frontward, bending the knee deeper. Do not let the knee to pass your toes. Stretch exercises help to lessen the pain.

  3. Straight Leg Raise Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Straight Leg Raise Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Straight leg raise exercise for articular cartilage injury helps in strengthening the complete knee and the leg. Lay down on the ground, upper body should be held by elbows. Bend the left knee, foot should be on the floor. Hold the right leg without bending; keep it straight, point up the toes. Tighten the thigh and raise the leg.

    Keep if for 3 seconds as shown in the image. Keep the thigh muscles tight and lower the leg to ground slowly as much as possible. Touch and rise again. Do two sets of 10 repetitions. Switch legs after each set.

    This exercise helps to improve muscle strength and to strengthen the weak joints.

  4. Heel Raise Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Heel Raise Exercise for Articular Cartilage Injury

    Heel raise exercise for articular cartilage injury can help in toughening the knee articular cartilage. Stand straight and keep the back of a chair for support. Lift your heels off the ground and rise up on the toes of both feet. Hold for 3 seconds. Slowly lower both heels to the ground. If it is too hard at the beginning do the same exercise while sitting in a chair.

Home Care for Articular Cartilage Injury Following Surgery

After a surgery and prior to discharge, the patients who are suffering from articular cartilage injury should be given precise instructions on how to take care about him/ her during the healing process and even after. While being careful in your movements there are so many other aspects also to be considered. The following are the suggested lifestyle changes for getting rid of articular cartilage injury:

  • Diet: During the first few days following surgery to treat articular cartilage injury, patient must avoid solid food and he must limit his diet to liquids.
  • Medication: Be precise when taking medicines prescribed by your doctor.
  • Bandage: After the surgery normally there is very thick dressing around the wound. Patient has to bear it until it is instructed to remove. After the dressing is removed, he should cover wound area by a band-aid in order to defend from irritation.
  • Showering: After 2 or 3 days of removing the dressing patent can have a shower, but make sure the articular cartilage injury not get wet. He can have a complete bath only after 2 or 3 weeks if the wounds are entirely sealed.
  • Crutches: It is a must to use crutches form first or second day after the surgery until 6 weeks or more, the time to use crutches depends on the kind of surgery that the patent has undergone.
  • Braces: Depends on the sort of surgery patent may have to wear braces to protect his knees and to being avoid from prohibited motions. Doctor will decide the time frame that a patient has to wear the braces.
  • Continuous passive motion machine (CPM Machine): Patent may have to use this machine if the surgeon instructed to use. This machine will gradually restore the knee movements.
  • Ice: It is important to cover the patents affected articular cartilage injury knee by cold water; care taker must follow doctor's instructions. There are ice machines to be rented. Heat is not good for the affected area.

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Written, Edited or Reviewed By:


Last Modified On: June 15, 2017

Pain Assist Inc.

Pramod Kerkar
  Note: Information provided is not a substitute for physician, hospital or any form of medical care. Examination and Investigation is necessary for correct diagnosis.

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