Risks of Meniscus Tear Surgery
A meniscus is a structure that is located between the femur and the tibial bones in the lower part of the leg. The function of the meniscus is to provide stability to the body and distribute the body weight equally. It also prevents the bones of the leg from rubbing against each other and degenerating. In case of a tear of the meniscus, the stability of the leg is lost and the individual is not able to walk normally. There is also excessive pain in the lower part of the leg.
The best and perhaps the most preferred way to treat a meniscus tear is arthroscopic meniscus repair surgery. This surgery not only treats the tear causing pain in the knee, but also prevents the knee from further damage and prevents it from developing arthritis. A meniscal tear surgery provides relief from pain and improved functionality of the knee. Arthroscopic meniscal surgery is safe and the recovery period from this surgery is also very less compared to other forms of treatment for meniscus tears.
As is the case with any other surgery, the arthroscopic meniscus surgery also has its inherent risks. Some of the risks of an arthroscopic meniscus surgery are infection, injury to the surrounding structures, fracture, stiffness, instability, inability to completely resolve the symptoms, future need for surgery, and accompanied anesthetic risks, the possibility of which is quite rare.
Thus, the arthroscopic meniscus surgery is considered to be a safe option when it comes to treating meniscus tears.
Recovery Time For Meniscus Tear Surgery
Once the individual is through with a meniscus tear surgery, a dressing will be applied and the knee will be wrapped in an ACE bandage. This will be done to protect the knee and allow the wounds enough time to heal. It will also help in minimizing the swelling and inflammation in the knee, which may result after the surgery.
The patient will also be provided with an ice pack to be applied over the knee for 15-20 minutes two to three times a day once the wounds have healed and the bandage removed. This will be to calm down the remaining swelling and inflammation. This will take usually a period of two weeks. After two weeks, the patient should be able to walk with use of crutches for about a week. Once the patient is able to walk unassisted without any pain or discomfort, then the patient will be sent to physical therapy for exercises to strengthen the knee and achieve the lost range of motion of the knee.
Physical therapy will also help in relieving stiffness in the knee after a prolonged period of immobilization following meniscus tear surgery. The physical therapy will be done for a period of three weeks. Once through with physical therapy, the patient will be gradually returned back to normal activities but advised not to put too much weight on the affected leg for a week and then can be full weightbearing on the affected leg after a meniscus tear surgery. Overall, it takes around 4 to 6 weeks for an individual to return back to normal activities after a meniscus tear surgery.
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